Coach kicked some dirt around with his foot. “If it felt good,” he said, squinting like Clint Eastwood, “you didn’t push hard enough. It’s supposed to hurt like hell.”
My dad got transferred and my family moved to another city a week after that race. Those were the last words Coach said to me, and I live by them to this day: If it comes easy, if it doesn’t require extraordinary effort, you’re not pushing hard enough: It’s supposed to hurt like hell.
“Go out there and run to the best of your ability,” he replied. “Don’t run with your legs. Run with your heart.”
Reflecting back, that is how I did things. Either a 100 percent commitment, total unwavering devotion, or nothing at all.