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It felt like finally surfacing for a breath of air after being held underwater. My legs wobbled—so full of lactic acid and fatigue they could hardly support my 145-pound frame. Doubled over, I desperately sucked the crispy autumn air into my body. I felt on the verge of collapse and yet I knew I had two more sets to go.
I went on to pound those final two sets even harder. I did this for no one’s benefit other than my own. Track workouts were my non-glorious private moments. My efforts would remain unknown to anyone other than myself.
Sure, come race day, when I’d toe the starting line of some distance event—whether it was a 5K or 1,600 meter—I’d know if I’d been bad or good. I’d know if I’d pushed myself or given up when things had gotten tough. And I knew that choice alone was what separated a good race from a crappy one, success from failure.
The Selfish Sport
I’ve run almost every day of my life since I was 14-years-old. I subject myself to this daily sadistic practice not because I love pain, but instead because I hate bullshit. The single greatest aspect of running is that it’s a deeply personal and selfish act.
When you fail, it’s YOU who fails. Likewise, when you succeed, the glory is yours and yours alone. There’s no “shit talking” in running because, once the starting gun goes off, everything is settled without question. You run how you run and that’s that.
“I Coulda Been a Contenda”
One of the dumbest comments I’ve ever heard came from a former hometown hero—a prodigious child athlete whose celebrity faded during our high school years. This was the sort of kid who seemed born coordinated and fast and graceful. An athlete who’d excelled so much in his youth that he never had an incentive to work hard.
One day, in our sophomore year of high school, when I’d just run my first sub-5 minute mile, this burn-out felt the need to march up to me, angrily, and state, “You know, I could run a 4:55 mile too if I actually cared to run as much as you.”
To this day, that is stillone of the most retarded statements I’d ever heard in my entire life. Of course he’d be just as good as me if he ran as much as me. In fact, anyone would!
And that’s the point—most people aren’t willing to run as much as me. And that’s the deciding factor: guts. Any gutless person can sit on the sidelines, proclaiming how great they couldbe had they had guts.
But unless you’re willing to sweat it out, run after run, you’re just a heaping sack of shit. No one cares about how great you COULD be. Either you do it or you shut up and stop embarrassing yourself.
Running = Improving with Women
The exact same principles apply when you’re trying to improve with women.It’s real easy to be the guy on the sidelines making condescending remarks like, “Well, if I actually cared to approach to girls, I could hook up with lots of girls, too.” But the glory isn’t in what you say you can do—it’s simply in what you actually do.
Like running, learning to become better with women is an intensely personal and selfish process. You embark on this journey for no one’s happiness other than your own. There’s no teamwork in meeting women. There’s no “phone a friend” in meeting women. Most nights, it’s just you against the world.
And, when you approach that next girl, only you know how much you’ve worked on yourself. Just like toeing the starting line of a race, if you’ve slacked off and lived a gutless existence, then nothing magical is going to happen when you approach that girl.
Having guts means accepting the sadistic process of self-improvement. If you want to cry about “how hard it is” for you and whine every time you feel slightly uncomfortable, then you’re a gutless failure. You should probably give up now and stick to the condescending remarks. Get used to saying things like, “I would be good at meeting women…if I cared to approach a lot.”
But if you have the guts to succeed, if you’re willing to be a man about the process, and if you want the true glory of true success, then embrace the reality of what you’re trying to do. Just as I was in running, probably you aren’t that “child athlete” born with inane skill.
Likely all your “ability” is waiting for you. But you need to earn it. And the only way you’re going to earn it is through your guts.
>>>To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.