Posted by: drewdice | October 20, 2010

Eye of the Tiger

Last weekend, I ran in the Baltimore Half Marathon , and have to say that, 8 years after my first one, this one was even more fun and more of an accomplishment.

I hadn’t planned on ever running a second 1/2 marathon…the first one hurt, and I was stiff for at least 2 weeks (possibly because my training was very poor). In typical Andrew fashion, I came home one day in June (I think), and said to JoAnn “I registered for the 1/2”. Aside from JoAnn thinking I am crazy, she was extremely supportive of my achieving the goal of completing the 1/2 marathon at 40. For me, it was more of a mental challenge than a physical one…and just to prove that to myself, I trained inadequately again (my training regimen took me up to about 7.5 miles). Did I do it on purpose? Maybe subconsciously.

Fast forward to the run…I was good for the first 6 miles or so, and then my feet really started hurting (could be because I bought new shoes the day before the race). I labored a bit, and by the time I got to mile 10, I was struggling….could I really execute this run? Would I finish? My feet were on fire, and my legs were getting tired….I wasn’t running with anyone that I knew, so I didn’t have that push….I wasn’t wearing an iPod, so I didn’t have the musical motivation.

Then, just as I got to mile 10, I heard the song…..and I saw this guy in a tiger suit, dancing on top of a car….to Eye of the Tiger from the Rocky movie. I’ve got to tell you, that shifted my mindset away from the pain, and towards my desired outcome…having the mental toughness and grit to finish the race…8 years older than before, at the magical 40 year old mark, with substantially more aches and pains. I got re-attached to the intent behind the run and what I would gain by finishing, and I’ve got to tell you that the last 3 miles were easier than the first.

So, as I think about your businesses and what you are trying to achieve, I remember that 70% of initiatives fail to deliver the intended business results. Digging into the reasons behind the failures, you will see things like: lack of strategic purpose or intent (no clear and measurable outcomes), lack of alignment through an organization, lack of diligence and perseverance to “stay the course”, and no plan for sustainability in the long term.

There are so many parallels between business and running the 1/2 marathon, it really highlights the critical success factors for individuals and organizations.

I wonder about your initiatives and what you see that allows your organization (and you) to succeed (or not).





  1. It’s a good thing you didn’t have your i pod on…your playlists would not have gotten you through those last 3 miles

    Next time you need motivation, listen to the theme from the original Rocky movie….I’m totally serious… it gets you ridiculously fired up…you could finish a whole marathon with that song playing

  2. I love this analogy! I just ran my first half, signing up on a whim in June, with no plan and training runs no longer than 6 miles. Mile ten in Denver was uphill, and I was done! But my motivation wasn’t a dancing tiger, it was a tiny woman with a t-shirt that said “Today is my 75th birthday”. Her contagious smile, purpose and perseverance helped me finish. I did sign up for next year, but this time I’m creating training plan!

    • Thanks for your comment and support, Kayla. I’m proud of you that you completed your 1/2 marathon, as well! Amazing what a person (or organization) can do with some grit, determination, focus and intent behind an initiative.

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