Punched in the Mouth…

“Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

This is one of my favorite sports quotes. On the surface, the meaning seems pretty clear: You have to be ready for what life throws at you. However, I’d like to take it a bit further in relation to our running goals.

The real key to improving as a runner is to CONSISTENTLY train over long periods of time.  We’re all busy people. In order to fit running into our schedules, we must carefully plan. The problem is that all too often our plans are derailed but unforeseen circumstances. (Kid gets sick, spouse stuck in traffic, have to stay later at work than expected, etc.) It is in these moments that we’re “punched in the mouth” by life. It is also in these moments that so many people throw in the towel when it comes to getting in that run they had planned. If we approach the day with only ONE plan for how that day should unfold, we’re likely to be disappointed with the outcome by its end. The secret to being able to take that “punch in the mouth” from life is to anticipate it happening, and to have MORE THAN ONE plan of action!

Each day that I’d like to run, I envision different times that it might happen. Can I sneak a run in before the kids wake up? What if one of them gets up early feeling sick? Possibly right after work if my wife has the kids covered? (I’ll make sure a have a bag of clothes ready in the car!) Maybe it has to wait until the kids are in bed? I’ll take 10 minutes off my planned running time in order to better stretch and cool down before crawling in bed myself.

A recent example: My initial plan was to run right after school (bag packed and ready) because my wife was going to have the kids covered after work. Then, I got the following text from her:


(To clarify: “CARE seats” means “CAR seats. Thanks autocorrect. “Harbs” is short for my 3-year-old daughter, Harbor. I’m also still just a liiiiiitle excited the Eagles won the SuperBowl. My wife knows this.)

A perfect example of a reason to have multiple visions for your day. The run right after work couldn’t happen because it was now on me to pick up my daughter from preschool. No worries. We had another plan in which my wife could use the time immediately after work for herself while I covered the kids, then she would take them to my son’s wrestling practice while I hit the track. Teamwork makes the dream work. (If that didn’t work out, I had a third plan to do a similar workout in the neighborhood after the kids were in bed, saving travel time.)

Approaching the day with multiple visions of how it may unfold means that you’ll never be thrown off balance. If something unforeseen arises, just pivot and move on to the next version of your plan. I challenge you to try this idea TOMORROW. When you go to bed tonight, imagine at least 3 different scenarios for how the next day might unfold for you. Good luck, and feel free to let me know how it goes!!!


Would you like some help with planning your running? Click HERE!

One Reply to “Punched in the Mouth…”

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