Runner’s Paradise

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There are few things more enjoyable than a run on a cool summer morning. The smell of fresh dew in the air; The echoing sounds of your steps against the pavement; the huffing of your breath mirroring the early noises of a day slowly creeping in; the rush of adrenaline; the wind against your cheek; and finally, the euphoric sensation which sweeps across your body when you fall into your groove and your pace is just right. Running is something you can always do no matter what the pressures of the day are or whatever the weather might be. As summer officially kicks off this Friday, today’s blog will about inspirational quotes from films to help you start your day and get your adrenaline pumping.
Take a moment to watch the videos, read the quotes and let them sink in. I promise that you will want to get up tomorrow morning and truly kick the day’s ass. Let’s begin:
Herb Brooks was the inspirational coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, which defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union en-route to a gold medal. With minutes before the start of the game, he spoke to his players about why they deserved to win, and how even though they might lose nine out of ten times, they would not lose on that night. While we everyday folk may not be training or competing for any high stakes, we absolutely know what it feels like to be beaten down by the stresses of life. Here is a version of the speech by an incredible fan named “Rizzo,” an adorable 6 year old. Enjoy:
Next, we move on to another inspirational, but slightly off-color man, Mel Gibson. No, I will not be playing one of his drunken anti-Semitic rants or his potentially criminal voicemails about domestic violence. Instead, the quote I bring you today comes from the film What Women Want and speaks about the beauty of running and why everyone should give it a try. To refresh your memory, he was pitching an ad for Nike and needed to address why a woman would truly appreciate the freedom of the road. Sure, he may have stolen the tagline from Helen Hunt’s character, but it doesn’t take away the incredible presentation. Here is the quote and the link to the video below:
You don’t stand in front
of a mirror before a run…
and wonder what the road
will think of your outfit.
You don’t have to listen to its
jokes and pretend they’re funny.
It would not be easier to run
if you dressed sexier.
The road doesn’t notice
if you’re not wearing lipstick.
It does not care
how old you are.
You do not feel
because you make more money
than the road.
And you can call on the road
whenever you feel like it,
whether it’s been a day…
or a couple of hours
since your last date.
The only thing
the road cares about…
is that you pay it a visit
once in a while.
No Games.
Just Sports
Continuing along the running theme, the Tom Cruise produced film, Without Limits, focused on the famous long distance runner Steve Prefontaine. Though it was only nominated for one Golden Globe, it is an exceptional film about one man’s journey to become the best runner in the world. Donald Sutherland co-stars as Bill Bowerman (former coach of Oregon’s track team, and later, Co-Founder of Nike) alongside Billy Crudup as Steve Prefontaine.  There are many exceptional quotes from the film, but the most inspirational one comes from Mr. Sutherland as he recounts his days training the legendary runner.
Bill Bowerman: All my life, man and boy, I’ve operated under the assumption that the main idea in running was to win the race. Naturally, when I became a coach I tried to teach people how to do that. Tried to teach Pre how to do that. Tried like hell to teach Pre to do that. And Pre taught me. Taught me I was wrong. Pre, you see, was troubled by knowing that a mediocre effort can win a race and a magnificent effort can lose one. Winning a race wouldn’t necessarily demand that he give it everything he had from start to finish. He never ran any other way. I tried to get him to, God knows I tried… but… Pre was stubborn. He insisted on holding himself to a higher standard than victory. ‘A race is a work of art’; that’s what he said, that’s what he believed and he was out to make it one every step of the way.
Of course he wanted to win. Those who saw him compete and those who competed against him were never in any doubt how much he wanted to win. But how he won mattered to him more. Pre thought I was a hard case. But he finally got it through my head that the real purpose of running isn’t to win a race. It’s to test to the limits of the human heart. That he did… Nobody did it more often. Nobody did it better.
Sure, most of us are not trying to push our bodies to their absolute limits when we wake up early to go for a jog, but there is something to be said about running at a pace that forces us to exert a lot of energy. It’s very easy to trot alongside the average person beside you, it is something entirely different to be the one who sets the pace. The trick is to start slow but to build up every week. Some runs can just be about moving your body in the morning, but I really urge you to try and push yourself and start getting in the habit of running hard. The small goals you overcome as a result will mean the world to you – and your body will reap the rewards.
I hope these inspirational quotes have given you incentive to go out for a run tomorrow. If you are in the Williamsburg, Brooklyn area, feel free to join me on my run through Greenpoint at 6AM  by the Edge buildings. Enjoy the final week of spring and have a wonderful first weekend of summer.
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Remember the Titans

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