Last night, when Tom Brady was being interviewed after winning yet another AFC Championship game, he said something that struck me. When asked about how he did it, Tom talked about how Belichick preached this specific team writing their own story. He knows each team is different and said this individual team had to find a way to get it done.
Now, Brady could have talked about how great he is or how many championships they’ve won. Yet, he stayed in the moment and talked about how the sole focus was on this game and this team. In the movie “Creed”, Sylvester Stallone tells Apollo Creed’s son while training him to take it “one step, one punch, one round at a time.” It seems like all the greats are able to do that. Focusing on the present challenge rather than thinking of how much they have accomplished is the best way to do it.
Recently, I wrote a post about the joys of running and how it mirrored life. In an ironic twist, I was sidelined for around a month right after that with a foot injury. I thought was a stress fracture, but after doctor visits and testing, I found out it wasn’t. The problem, I learned, was a lack of stretching and foam rolling, especially after the runs.
I have recently gone on a couple very short and slow run/walks. After the first one last week, I felt like Rocky celebrating at the top of the steps. It may seem silly, as the run was neither long nor fast, but I felt like I had accomplished something great. I enjoyed the act of running greatly by simply focusing on that run and not trying to do too much. I stayed in the moment and was happy to be running at all after taking time off.
The process of going to the doctor and getting x-rays and bone scans, coupled with not running, seemed like forever. However, I stuck with it and the foot pain has now gotten better. I have realized as you get older, you have to be more careful with stretching before and after running. When I was younger, I would take it for granted and not always stretch after or warm up too much. I didn’t have any issues really. Now, when I had the foot issue, it made me think twice and I have treated things a little differently.
Bill Belichick seemed happier than ever celebrating the Patriots’ win last night. A usually stoic figure who shows little to no emotion even in the happiest of times for the team, Belichick was seen hugging coaches, smiling, clapping wildly, and raising his fists in the air. A truly rare sight.
He was genuinely happy in the moment for this team and the way they played, mounting a 4th quarter comeback by rallying together on both sides of the ball. As Brady said, he preached writing their own story. It wasn’t about “let’s get this win so we can have a chance to get a 6th Super Bowl victory.” The real message was about staying in just that game and playing the best they could. The true happiness came from enjoying just that moment and how the team was able to come together to write their own story.
For me, while running, it shouldn’t be about thinking how I ran a certain amount of miles in the past or ran this or that time. It’s easy to get caught up in that, but it really is about writing the story for that specific run. Whether it is one mile or 16 miles, whether I run fast or slow, the message is the same. That way, you can truly enjoy every run. Every run has its own story and challenge. The weather may not be great one day. You may feel more tired one day than you did yesterday. Yet, writing the story for that one run is all you can do.
This message doesn’t have to just apply to running. It’s one anyone can learn from and apply to their daily life. Don’t think about what has happened in the past and compare and don’t think about what may happen in the future. Simply write the best story you can for today and you’re unlikely to go wrong.