What I Learned About Races (and Life) From the Boston Marathon Director
Recently, I attended the Runner's World Festival & Half Marathon where I had the opportunity to hear keynote speaker, Dave McGillivray, director of the Boston Marathon and running philanthropist, talk about some of his accomplishments.
His presentation, titled “Defining Moments," could have easily been a chance for him to brag about his life achievements, but McGillivray is an incredibly humble person and used it as a teaching opportunity. Even still, I left his talk totally in awe of what he's done with his life and feeling even more inspired to make some positive changes in my own. That said, here are a few pieces of wisdom and life lessons I took away from his presentation.
There’s always another path to take.
At the beginning of his presentation, McGillivray talked about his desire to play basketball in high school. When he was cut from the team, the coach told him if he was five inches taller, he would have made the team. Of course, McGillivray was upset by this news, but he didn’t let it define him. Instead, he started running. McGillivray's message was if things are not working out and people are rejecting you, try looking at different options and take another path. You can find success there!
My GREATEST accomplishment is always my NEXT one!
McGillivray explained that you need to keep looking forward with regard to your goals. He said he could no longer run a 2:29 marathon, but that didn't mean he couldn't still have marathon or running goals. As your life progresses, don't look back and live in the past. Instead, adjust your goals and keep working toward new (and different) ones.
My game. My rules!
Plain and simple: Don’t let anyone tell you how you should live your life. Each year on his birthday, McGillivray runs his age in miles. He started this tradition on his twelfth birthday by running 12 miles, and, last August, he ran 59 miles on his 59th birthday. When people ask him what he plans to do when he's 80 years old, he tells them: "My game. My rules!" I wonder how he'll manage to run those 80 miles, but I have a good feeling he'll make it happen!
Give yourself credit.
I love this simple piece of advice from McGillivray because I am so guilty of not giving myself credit when it is deserved. For instance, when someone asks me how a race went, I never reply with an enthusiastic response. I always focus on the things that didn't go well instead of being proud of my accomplishment. This reminder is definitely an important one because making a commitment and achieving a goal are not easy. Give yourself credit!
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