How you do anything is how you do everything


“How you do anything is how you do everything.”

This mantra has become front and center in my world of late. It is a reminder for me that there is no cheating the process. There is no way around “doing the work.”

This is most tangible for me in my physical fitness though it is applicable in my personal and professional life. When my alarm goes off at 5:30 in the morning, my instinct is to hit the snooze button. To start my day procrastinating.

“How you do anything is how you do everything, Mike”

The little voice in my head reminds me. With that, I curse that little voice and begrudgingly put my feet on the floor. I’m out the door for my run before 6am. This morning is a hard one—a progression run. My coach has prescribed paces at the upper end of my ability that I know I will not likely hit.

Ramp up in 10 steps
1.00 km @ 06:15 min/km
1.00 km @ 06:01 min/km
1.00 km @ 05:45 min/km
1.00 km @ 05:33 min/km
1.00 km @ 05:23 min/km
1.00 km @ 05:09 min/km
1.00 km @ 05:00 min/km
1.00 km @ 04:46 min/km
1.00 km @ 04:33 min/km
1.00 km @ 04:21 min/km

It would be easy to “phone it in” and simply go through the motions to check off the run and move on.

“How you do anything is how you do everything.”

Do the fucking work Mike. The first 7km are relatively easy. It is the last three that make me literally want to vomit. I’m out here now. Let’s get it done, and the rewards will come on race day when I am that much better prepared.

I think of Courtney Dauwalters blistering pace and new course record over 100 miles at last weekend’s Western States Endurance Run. I think of my friend Priscilla who placed 8th at WSER. What would they do for those last three clicks? The effort expended here will have a direct correlation to how I do come race day, just 10 days away.

“How you do anything is how you do everything!”

Habits are not just about what I do but also about how I do them.

I want to build a habit of pushing hard when the going gets tough. A habit is not something I do once in a while but rather what I consistently do.

Cultivating a habit of perseverance in the face of adversity is why I run ultras. To practice. My ability to persevere in the face of adversity has gotten me through so much in my life.

A near-death car accident at 17
A 240 million dollar Ponzi scheme that nearly bankrupted me and many I love
My divorce
The murder of my girlfriend

And a myriad of other trials and tribulations over the years.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

How will you persevere today?

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