HOKA NAZ Elite has been working more on visualization and meditation the last few months. Our most recent sessions have focused on the times we feel like we are our best selves. In order to do that we had to recognize the times when we were the worst versions of ourselves. Some of the times I dislike myself the most are in races, when I stop competing.
Here is one of the stories I think of when we are told to think of a time we disliked ourself: US half marathon champs 2012, I believe. Hosted by Grandma’s marathon in Duluth, MN. I pride myself on having never dropped out of a race before (if you ever see a dnf next to my name from the Chicago Marathon in 2018 it’s a mistake, I was a pacer). This does not mean I am proud of all my performances. Far from it. I have mentally dropped out of a lot of races, where I flat out stopped competing. I don’t know why on this particular day in Duluth I pulled the plug mentally so early on. I was actually on the verge of stopping 2/3 of the way through or so. I saw an aid station tent about 200 meters away and started veering in its direction. However a fateful “cmon Scott” from Stephan Shay who had come up from behind me got me at least refocused enough to continue to the finish. I don’t think I ever thanked Stephan for that, thank you Stephan.
My last few miles were an absolute piss poor representation of how I want to present myself as a competitor. The finish line came as a relief rather than a reward for a job well done. I loathe that feeling. The following hours were spent wondering why that happened and how to prevent it. I was sitting around waiting to head to the airport when coach Dan Green came up to me and asked how it went. Judging by my demeanor I think he already had an inkling of the answer. Then he said something I will never forget:
“Sometimes Scott you take a big shit, but you stand up, close the lid, and flush that sucker away.”
Ever since then I’ve been doing my best to limit the amount of flushing I require.
– Scott Smith