Watch What You Say

Several years ago, I began training for a 100-mile race named The Last Man Standing.
The rules were straightforward enough – every competitor had one hour to finish a 4.2-mile loop, and at the beginning of the next hour, everyone needed to be at the starting line, ready to go again.
So, if I completed the loop in 50 minutes, I'd get a 10-minute break before the next loop.
This would continue until just one runner remained—the last man (or woman) standing.
Throughout my training, I kept getting stuck at 38 miles. No matter what I did, I couldn’t push past that mark. Every time I faced this obstacle, I’d go home, feeling defeated, and tell my wife, "I just can't do it. I can’t get beyond 38 miles."
Determined to find a solution, I stumbled upon a podcast featuring a former Navy Seal named Chadd Wright. He claimed he once helped a novice runner, someone who'd never run over five miles, complete a 100-mile race by having him continuously repeat the mantra, "I will not quit."
Intrigued and somewhat skeptical, I decided to contact Chadd directly.
After talking for five minutes, Chad said, "I can fix this in two days."
Two days?
I believed him, sort of, at least for a little while. But by the time a couple of hours had passed, my doubts began to resurface. How could he possibly help me break my barrier in just two days?
A week later, Chadd arrived. He was an imposing figure – broad-shouldered, tattooed arms, a stony jawline, and a long, robust beard. When I greeted him, he didn’t indulge in any small talk.
Throughout the day, my friends were checking in with me all day like, "Did you change your stride, what are you doing differently to get over your 38-mile block? Are you eating differently?" “Did he give you a treatment plan?”
"No, he hasn't said a word to me."
And then suddenly he spoke in the thickest Georgian accent. “Maaaaan, tomaraw, we gon’start to map out the strategy to double your training runs. We'll wake up at 4:45 a.m., talk, and den at 0500 we’re gon’start runnin.
What could he do in 15 minutes to double my training runs?
The next morning, Chadd elaborated, "I know you'll face challenges. I know there'll be moments when you'll think of quitting. But we won't speak of it. When I ask how you feel during the run, you'll say you feel outstanding."
That’s it?
That’s it!
The narratives we tell ourselves, whether positive or negative, can shape our realities. The declarations we make have the ability to both limit and liberate us.
When we constantly reiterate our doubts, challenges, or barriers, we reinforce them in our minds, giving them even more power over our actions.
Conversely, when we choose to voice resilience, optimism, and determination, we begin to shift our internal narrative, building a mindset primed for success.
The experience with Chadd wasn't just about running longer distances; it was about understanding the profound impact of our spoken word on our capabilities. In life, as in races, the most potent adversary or ally can often be our own voice.
So, let's choose our words wisely and remember: every word we speak can be a step away from our goal or a step towards our goal.
That day, we shattered our 38 mile barrier… and ran 50 miles. Months later, Chadd and I found ourselves at the starting line, ready for The Last Man Standing.

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