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The 5 Things You Should Never Do in a Race

The 5 Things You Should Never Do in a Race

After 13 half marathons, 1 marathon, and over 100 5k’s, I think I can comfortably say that I am phenomenally mediocre at running.

What I have learned from logging thousands of miles and spending hundreds of hours pounding the asphalt jungle is the importance of humor.

Because whether it’s a 5K, Tough Mudder, ½ marathon, or even the goofy challenge, there’s always a point in which you need to find (desperately) some way to entertain yourself.

Through my personal experiences, encounters on the course, and my own twisted sense of humor, here are some suggestions/thoughts/things to (not) do in your next race that will surely make you and probably everyone around you laugh.

Remember, through all of the pain and training, it’s important to always maintain a sense of humor. After all, you’re paying good money to run as fast as you can away from where you started to return to where you started as fast as you can.

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Seems sensible, right?

You’ve been warned… Here are the 5 things you should (never) do in a race.

1. (Never) wear something ridiculously awesome under your throw away clothes or nothing at all

While you and your closest 5000 friends are standing, waiting in your corals like cattle on a dairy farm, you need to find a way to keep warm for those early starting, brisk and often frozen race day mornings.

Enter throw away clothes.

Until the race begins, no one actually knows what you are wearing under that thrift store exclusive. Next race day, surprise them all when you do your starting line striptease with an Armani suit, dress, bikini, skeleton pajama onesie, banana hammock, hot pants, Ghostbusters outfit, Snuggie, birthday suit or really – whatever your heart desires.

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Whatever you do, rip off those throwaways like a starting forward in the NBA and stand proud while basking in all its glory. And then run like hell!

2. (Never) have a messy public break-up with your shoes

We’ve all been there before. A crappy run, an uncoordinated walk, a sudden trip where you get so pissed off at your shoes you want to throw them off a bridge. Whether you’ve had them for 3 miles or 300, every shoe relationship has its moments.

Try spending 4+ consecutive hours on asphalt with them and you’ll be sure to come across some rocky road. The next time you cross the finish line after hours of burning rubber and feet, stop, take your shoes off, scream at the top of your lungs, “I’m done with you” and throw them into the crowd like a grenade souvenir.

Then simply just walk away.

3. (Never) enjoy a mid-race unconventional snack:

One of the unwritten rules of running is to never eat something new on race day.

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Well, the fact is GU gels go anywhere from delicious to acrylic paint. Clif Shot Blocks and GU Chomps will occasionally hug your teeth, and Sports Beans’ flavors sometimes resemble more of a Willy Wonka creation gone wrong than an actual nutritional aide. However, we all know these things are necessities when it comes to surviving longer races and runs.

But once, just once, don’t you wish you could whip out something a little more delectable at mile 9 or 15?

When I was a personal trainer, I once saw a man eating a sandwich on a treadmill. So I can’t possibly see how pulling out a Twinkie, Bear Claw, Pad Thai, bag of Baked Lays, or a rack of ribs (protein, right?) as mid race snack can possibly go wrong. . .

4.  (Never) high-five! Everyone

You’re exhausted, you’re hallucinating, you’re delusional, you’re excited, you’re energetic, you’re in dire need of support, frankly, and you’re a mess. For me, that pretty much sums up my first marathon experience.

One of the most energizing things that can happen during a race is getting a high-five from a stranger. Several lined up in a row? Practically orgasmic.

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Next time you hit the course try to give high-fives. . . to everyone. The water stop volunteers, the random kids along the race that are confused why their parents dragged them out to cheer on people they don’t know, the police officer blocking the side roads, the guy handing out beer (especially him), or the person holding the sign “Worst.Parade.Ever.” Got it in you? Challenge accepted! High-five!

5.)  (Never) kiss, make up, and celebrate in style

It is tradition at the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Speedway that the winning driver and crew kiss the bricks around the start/finish line after the race. Nothing says romantic like a big ole smooch with exhaust soot, burnt rubber, and spilled gasoline but by golly they still do it.

Then there is the INDY 500, of course, where the winner drinks/showers in milk on the podium.

I don’t know about you, but I will probably never “win” an actual race. However, that doesn’t mean we all can’t come in 247th place like a champion.

During your next race have a good friend wait for you at the finish line with a bottle of champagne (Andre – only the finest). When you are about to cross the finish line, kneel down, kiss the finish line (or blue and orange Lego block transmitter) and grab that bottle of the $9.99 rack’s finest. Shake, pop, and celebrate. Congratulations, you just made average look phenomenal.

Go get’em!

Featured photo credit: Buzzfeed via buzzfeed.com

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Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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The leap happens when we realize two things:

  1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

“Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

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