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Run Like Hell

“Motivation is a skill. It can be learned and practiced.”

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OOH …Here’s One Thing  

by Jim Johnsen, 
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Co LLC



Anyone an old runner like me?  Someone who got hooked when Bill Rogers was a god and never got unhooked?   One of the side joys back in the “old” days was when the Runner’s World magazine would arrive in the mail.  I mean the one before Rodale Press acquired it and turned it into a running shoe ad machine (talk about endemic!) with some infotainment.  

Somewhere near the front of every edition of that magazine there was a regular column by a special gentleman named Amby Burfoot.  I will never forget the proverbs that Amby would come up with.  They were always more about the big picture than running.  In his honor, I thought I would share a few of his best:

“I have learned that there is no failure in running, or in life, as long as you keep moving.”

“Winning is not about headlines and hardware. It’s only about attitude. A winner is a person who goes out today and every day and attempts to be the best runner and best person he can be. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.”

“Motivation is a skill. It can be learned and practiced.”

“Courage is crossing a starting line.” “That’s the beauty of starting lines: Until you begin a new venture, you never know what awaits you.”

“What running has showed me, is running clarifies the thinking process…”

You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day, you have to be mentally tough, you have to use others to help you. The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint; pace yourself accordingly.

“As runners, we all go through many transitions– transitions that closely mimic the larger changes we experience in a lifetime. First, we try to run faster. Then we try to run harder. Then we learn to accept ourselves and our limitations, and at last, we can appreciate the true joy and meaning of running.”

“Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don’t have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.”

Speaking of optimism, I was listening to Tim Ferris interview Ed Zschau recently (if you don’t know him you should, he has started and taken companies public, been a senator and taught at Princeton University) and Tim asked him, “whats the most important gift you have given your children Ed?” Ed’s response…(and I paraphrase) “I gave them the gift of optimism because without that even with tons of talent its damn near impossible to accomplish anything.”

Okay Johnsen, whats this got to do with outdoor? Wow, if you needed to ask that question its time for another cup of coffee. But since we are talking about running, I leave with a live version from Pompei (if Gilmore or Waters ever does another one there I am going!) and the lyrics to Pink Floyd’s Run Like Hell, off the album titled “The Wall”, which by the way is one of the best operas ever written IMHO.


(go to the last 2 minutes if you are pressed for time)

Ooooh, babe
Don’t leave me now
Don’t say it’s the end of the road
Remember the flowers I sent

I need you, babe
To put through the shredder
In front of my friends
Ooh babe

Don’t leave me now
How could you go?
When you know how I need you
To beat to a pulp on a Saturday night
Ooh babe, don’t leave me now

How can you treat me this way?
Running away
Ooh babe
Why are you running away?
Ooh babe

ps.  Amby was/is not only a great author and thinker, he was also the winner of the Boston Marathon in 1968.  


Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC




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