Elemental Motivation Part 2: Running With a Vengeance

In part 1 of the elemental motivation series, I touched on the subject of running fueled by hatred. This week’s post will focus on the transition from running with hatred to running with a vengeance. There are always times in our lives when our character will be tested. These times will push us past the boundaries of what we once thought was all we could handle. In my life, I have been fortunate that nothing overly traumatic has occurred compared to the hardships that others in the world have faced. In hindsight, I am always grateful for the hardships. After every trying time in my life, I make it a personal vendetta to make it a turning point. I use the time to evaluate where I am at and where I want to be. I have always been in love with the idea of the mythological creature of the phoenix, rising out of the ashes to become beautiful once more. It is the age old adage: when all is lost, all is left to gain.

Stronger. Faster. Smarter. These three simple words were all I concerned myself with when I was chasing what I believed was to be my vengeance.  After that January’s events, I shut myself off from everyone and everything to focus on becoming stronger, faster, and smarter in every facet of my life.   I adopted an extremist, back against the wall mentality and became obsessed with Lance Armstrong’s quote: “I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody’s going down.” It was my defense mechanism and provided me a safe haven. I formed in my mind the life I wanted to be living and focused all my energy on achieving it. I wanted to be stronger so I would work out every day for countless hours. I wanted to qualify for the Boston and New York Marathons so I ramped up my training to become faster. I wanted to have an internship for the summer and full-time position upon graduation so I threw myself into my studies to improve my GPA. I also brought my lifelong dream of wanting to move to California to the forefront.

Making this life I had in my mind was to be my revenge. Whether anyone cared or not, never crossed my mind. Nothing mattered to me but making this dream come true. One quote from Once a Runner would play through my mind at all times “Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.” I was at a point in my life where I fully believed that running was all I had left. It kept me sane. Boston was constantly on my mind and I would stop at nothing to get my BQ.


The Boston Marathon Finish Line (Photo Credit: hikeclimbsurfrun.com)

This intense dedication and motivation was exactly what I needed in my life to get me to where I wanted to be. In October of 2010, I ran the Steamtown Marathon and qualified for both Boston and New York with a time of 2:49:36 for my first marathon. In the summer of 2010 I secured an internship that would later turn in to a full time job. Most recently, I made my lifelong dream of moving to California come true and moved to Manhattan Beach in October of 2011. Accomplishing these goals completed the circle of creating the life that I wanted. Had it not been for hardships, I would never have forced myself to focus so intensely on what it was that I wanted. Now that these goals have been accomplished, I have turned to a whole new set of goals. However, this time they are fueled with love as opposed to hatred and vengeance. Next week the third post in the series of elemental motivation will focus on running fueled by love. My challenge to you this week is to focus on how to turn the negative events in your life in to positive motivators.

Always in Stride,


Manhattan Beach

My new home town of Manhattan Beach, California. (Photo Credit socalarea.com)

Song of the Week – I Made It (Cash Money Heroes) – Kevin Rudolf

Quote of the Week – “Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.” – John L. Parker Jr.

Video of the Week – Once a Runner Trailer

5 replies
  1. Nate
    Nate says:

    Maybe I should try operating my life with vengeance! It looks like you accomplished a lot in your life when operating in that fashion. I think I’m too laid back in my approach to most things in life, including my own goals.


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