I blame MTV, Sports Illustrated, Hollywood, Cosmo, TSN, VH1. Actually I blame everybody who has ever told an engaging story: damn them for only showing/telling/describing the sexy “performance” part of any discipline.
We only see Derek Jeter hit two doubles and a home run to go with four RBIs . We don’t see him in the gym at 6 am the previous morning -after leaving his family and beautiful estate style home – lifting weights until his arms and legs burn. Derek is a human, and likely wants to quit before every rep (just like you and I would) but he doesn’t. He understands that Preparation comes before Performance. The examples go on forever; this is my favorite:
Terry Fox – before cancer took his life – ran a marathon everyday for 143 days. The goal of the Marathon of Hope was to run across Canada. I have no doubt that Terry would have made it; not because I get misty eyed every time I see his image, or hear the story (though I DO); but because I know Terry Prepared before he Performed.
Terry trained for 14 months in preparation for the Marathon. In the end, he only ran 143 days. He ran everyday for a YEAR. The only day he took off was Christmas, because his mom made him.
The next time you see something impressive or hear a powerful story about the human spirit, try to imagine the preparation that went into the performance. That, to me, is often a better story. The dirty, gritty, blue-collar hard work that nobody will see, separates the incredible from the average performance.