I’m not a big golfer, but have you ever visited the PGA website? I did today and found that Tiger Woods has the lowest average score for 18 holes of golf at 68.654 shots per 18.
Why do I care? I don’t feel like running today, that’s why.
But I know that Tiger Woods has had a tendency to do the little things with his golf game. Whatever you think of the man’s personal life, he has a reputation for being the first one at the golf course and one of the last to leave.
Lately, I vacillate between feeling great and feeling absolutely awful when I run. It had been going well. Over the first seven weeks of more intense training I’ve felt my natural pace pick up. My skin is tighter. I’m tired more often, but with a runner’s high. It’s generally been a good feeling…..well, it was, until just this last week. Suddenly I’m tired all the time and the marathons I’m training for seem a hell of a long way off. I’ve entered the dog days of training.
I try to remember that Tiger Woods has to play every week and I only have two events I’m working toward. I’m training for two marathons (but who’s counting?). I’m going to pace my sister through her first marathon ever in Washington D.C. near the end of October and then I’m tackling the White Rock Marathon in Dallas in December to try and score my best time. These are big goals and I don’t want to let myself down.
The thinker in me (my wife doesn’t believe it exists, but deep behind awesome NASCAR trivia facts is an actual working brain….trust me) knows that these are the important days. This is when the race is really won or lost. Like Tiger Woods and his long career of success, I’ll only beat my goals if I keep working hard on these days. If I plan to be successful at both of my events, the little runs are going to be the difference between flying the whole 26.2 miles or cramping at mile 18 (trust me, that’s where it hurts). But in northeast Texas what’s even more evident and front in center in my lizard brain is this: it’s damned hot and humid.….and I’m tired…and I’m taking my kids to college and….whine….whine….whine…..
So I’m at the PGA leaderboard, and do you know what the difference is between Tiger Woods and the 63rd best golfer? Two strokes. I can’t believe it. Over 18 holes, the guy in 63rd place (named Pat Perez), has only taken two more shots each round than the guy in first. I think every non-golfer knows Tiger Woods, but I’ll bet only the hardcore crowd knows Mr. Perez…and there’s only a tiny difference in results between them. Pat Perez is incredibly close to being a household name and he’s 63rd in the world. Why isn’t he? Sure, there may be a talent difference, but I also think that Tiger’s work ethic has something to do with it.
I know you’ve felt this way in your job before. I certainly have. It’s easy sometimes to coast….especially in these last couple of weeks before Labor Day. Nobody seems to be paying attention to the bottom line. Everyone’s feeling the last days of summer. We all want just a little more play and we don’t want to work hard….yet.
Unfortunately, you and I know that productivity isn’t a light switch. You can’t just flip on the “I’m ready” button whenever you wish. Tiger has struggled in big events this year even though he’s the scoring leader. On my end, I know ahead of time that I won’t be able to say on October 1st, “Okay, go run 18 miles hard now.” You and I already know that when I come out of this funk, and I will come out of this funk, it’ll be important that my work ethic has remained intact.
My mantra this morning: two shots between 1st and 63rd. That should help me keep a brisk pace!