Monday, December 3, 2012

A Philosophy of Commitment,pt.2

In considering yesterday's post,we are again reminded that the qualities needed to find success in athletics are the same ones needed to succeed in "the world." I believe this fact is sometimes forgotten.Most people tend to think that if you are not winning championships,setting records or are a member of some national team then a total dedication to distance running(athletics) is,well.......extreme or inappropriate. Of course, I quickly add that your involvement in sport does not give you license to neglect family or other obligations.Sadly,over the years I have seen athletes do just that.They have not developed the moral precepts and values that Coach Vigil notes are essential to success in sport and life.However,no matter your level of skill in your chosen sport,your dedication to, and the pursuit of excellence in that sport is a worthy endeavor.
Consider the following by Vigil:
"It doesn't matter what your goal in life is,you must develop a sense of purpose.To participate in sport,to study,and to train is to believe in something.It is this relentless quest for excellence and the unyielding belief in yourself that challenges you to strive and overcome.During the process,the individual becomes transformed and inspired to new heights of achievement.You must develop a deep vision and total commitment because then,and only then,will you develop a deeper perspective of life in general."
I don't know about you but I find the above profound and most insightful. For instance, it is so true when Vigil says you must develop a sense of purpose in your life. From my experience in the psychiatric field, I've seen countless numbers of people drugging and drinking to excess because they were just going through life,they had no purpose, no passion. Look around at the people who live long,vigorous lives,these are most often the people who are doing something they love.
What you may already know is that there is much more to distance running then simply lacing up your shoes and heading out the door.Yes,it's a physical sport but it should also be a thinking man's (person's) sport.I've known alot of great runners in my life,many of whom were not what you would call people of character,many tended to be shallow and egocentric.Unfortunately, they  were never taught or recognized the totality of what this sport has to offer and the lessons that can be learned from it.Ideally, athletics should make you a better person in all areas of your life.
So,are you really committed to achieving athletic excellence? Have you made it a priority in your life? If you haven't, you should consider doing so today! I say this because you will reap more than the physical benefits.As Coach Vigil writes: "The decision to go after a goal is the key to success.The determination to stay with it is what brings out the quality of excellence."

As a reminder,new posts will be published each Wednesday and Saturday.

1 comment:

  1. The picture above is of the late great Pat Porter.His coach was Joe Vigil.Pat won 8 consecutive U.S.A.Cross Country Championships,a record that will never be broken.