Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

How far have they already run?

Posted in Personal Development by elephanthunters on August 1, 2010

I’m training for a 1/2 Ironman…

I logged 7 miles before the treadmill timed out.  I suppose there’s legislation that requires fitness equipment to limit the amount of time one spends becoming fit.  This particular treadmill had a governor set to shut the machine down after 60 minutes.  I still had 4 miles to cover so I reset the machine, changed my iPod playlist over to ‘Songs for Suffering’, and drudged on.


The air was warm; I was drenched in sweat from head to toe.  The lactic acid built up in my legs from a long week of training was arguing with my will to finish strong, and the determined fire that burned in my eyes when I started was quickly fading into a desperate grimace.


After a quarter mile into the new segment of my run, I was joined by a fellow weekend warrior who took his place on the treadmill next to mine.  We made eye contact, he nodded, then glanced down at what appeared to be a measly ‘total distance’ reading on my monitor and flippantly commented:

“Wow. Didn’t take you much to work up a sweat, did it?”

After internalizing a few comments I wanted to make in return, I acted like my iPod was turned up too loud to hear him and just kept running. “If he only knew…”, I thought.


As I settled in to finish my run I began to wonder, “How many times have I done the same thing to other people?”  Not in the gym, but in life.  I tend to criticize others without knowing everything they’ve been through.  Too often I focus on what has yet to be achieved instead of applauding people for the valiant efforts they’ve already made.  It’s tempting to hold people accountable to standards that are only achievable within the limited context of what we see.

I’m learning there is always more to the story.


5 Responses

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  1. Mike said, on August 1, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Thx for sharing brother! Great insight & lesson here!

  2. Kevin said, on August 1, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Too funny, Daniel. I did the exact same thing last year when I was training for a marathon. The pride in me wanted that guy next to me to know just how far I was running.

    Ok, dangit…. It was only a half-marathon I was training for. Still battling that pride thing.

    Hope to see you at another EntreLeadership sometime.

  3. Joel Fortner said, on August 2, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Great lesson, indeed. It’s called the ladder of inference and you’re fellow warrior climbed straight up without a second thought, analyzing data, making assumptions and drawing conclusions without a question asked. Good on you to divert the energy of the moment into introspection and shared insight!

  4. kekoa said, on August 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

    love that playlist name, “songs for suffering” !!!

    good luck on the run. i like what dave says about having ran 2 marathons in a day… his first and his last, right?

    have a good one.

  5. misty said, on August 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Admirable what you are training to do! Keep up the hard work.

    I think each of us can relate to the feeling of insult you felt. How you choose to handle it was superb!

    Each of us can learn to have a better perspective that we do not know what is going on in the other person’s shoes. All to often we draw conclusions based on the viewpoint we have on life and what we know. It is in learning that each of us grow and it is in learning that each of us can be different. May I learn to be better at the perspective I have of others too.

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