I was running on the Miami Beach boardwalk (which is mostly pavement now) Christmas morning. Some old guy and his young (grand?) daughter (who was no more than 12-13 years old) ran past in the other direction.
Well, these two apparently stopped and turned around at some point and came back, now running the same direction as me from behind. I was already about 1.5 miles from one end of the boardwalk where I’d begun, so I knew they hadn’t gone to the end – they’d arbitrarily chosen some point to turn around at.
And they had every right to do so. Not everyone can run the whole 4-mile strip (I was running it down and back, along with some detours, for the record).
In my periphery, I noticed the couple, with the girl in front, getting even with and starting to pass me – which they would’ve easily done had I remained at my current pace (NOTE: shorter distance = faster pace).
Even though I’m no professional at running, I am a professional at some other things.
- Competing – especially combined physical/mental activities
DefeatingDestroying opponents who start competitions with me when I never even bothered them
Now, did this man and his daughter really aim to compete with me? Probably not. They probably would’ve done the same running had I not even been there at the exact time they were.
Nowhere in that list of professions did I say anything about being reasonable and rational, especially when I’m doing some physical activity that I’ve worked hard at.
I increased my speed – the exact opposite of what I should’ve been doing, given the upcoming Miami Marathon I’m training for – and gave the man and daughter the Dikembe Mutombo “No No No” finger wag as I raced ahead, never even turning around to see how close they remained.
They never caught up.
In life, situations occur where you’ll need to turn the heat up. The time you need to give a little extra. Finish off your weakened (or just weak) opponent at a critical moment of opportunity.
But here’s the thing: You need to be conditioned to do this before you actually need to do it. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]You need to be conditioned to turn up the heat before you actually need to do it.[/shareable]
That speed burst that left the man and child in the dust on the boardwalk? It wasn’t a new thing for me. That burst is something I train for when no one else is running for me to “beat.” I create the race in my mind – just as I did this day, but without people – and blast off on imaginary opponents. I can call on that speed burst anytime I need it, because I already have it.
Michael Jordan, in one of those VHS tapes from the 90s (I’m sure you can find it on YouTube), talked about his first NBA comeback in 1995. The Bulls had lost in the playoffs to an Orlando Magic team lead by a young Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway.
Looking back, Mike explained how he knew what he needed to do to finish some of those lost games and win – he’d done it 3 times in a row before his baseball hiatus – but in the 1995 NBA Playoffs, he wasn’t able to do it on call as he had before.
Michael understood that he was not trained to GO in the 1995 Playoffs. And if he was going to win another championship, he needed to get that “finishing kick” conditioning back.
He did, 3 Times in a row AGAIN, if you didn’t know.
Question: do you have YOUR finishing kick ready? Are you conditioned to turn the heat up at any given moment, even without provocation, just because you feel like it?
Here are some ways to get started.
- Get your fundamental skills down COLD. If you can’t run an 8-minute mile, you can’t blast into a 7-minute mile in the heat of battle. Lay the foundation and make sure it’s solid.
- Find out what it will take to “melt the ice” of your opponents. Competition isn’t supposed to be pretty or nice or fun (for the opponents, at least). You want to make it not-fun for them. If they’re having fun, you haven’t found their breaking point. Meaning…
- Start working on getting to the temperature your would-be “competition” can’t survive at. Get comfortable there. Let’s say you and I played a game of 1-on-1 basketball. And I win the game, 10-9. What will you be thinking at that point? Maybe you’ll think one or two shots going the other way, you would’ve won. And you’d be right! And you’d probably want to play again. But what if I beat you 10-1 or 10-0? You may not want a rematch, as I made it clear that there’s a wide gap between me and you. When I compete, I don’t want to beat you. I want to demoralize you. I want to surgically remove your will to compete. So you are no longer a threat to compete with me, ever again. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]When I compete, I don’t want to beat you. I want to demoralize you.[/shareable]
I don’t want competitors. I don’t want there to be anyone who is salivating for another shot at me. I want the chase between me and second place to be so wide that they forget I’m in front, and start competing against each other for second place.
And if I need to destroy some middle-aged man and middle school girl to get in that frame of mind, so be it.
I will happily do so.
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