The Hurdler’s Advantage

Mark Painter is one of the best soccer players that I’ve ever played with and he is also a great hurdler.  When he was in high school, he could run the 400 meter hurdles faster than I could run 400 meters.  That race is exhausting and takes technical skill as well.  The experienced hurdler does have one advantage over the rest of us: anticipation.  Hurdles are always set in the same distance patterns.  So there is a rhythm to hurdling and being in that rhythm is a recipe for success.

Imagine for a moment though if the hurdles were set at different distance for each race.  Or even worse, imagine if the hurdles were moving during the race.  This can be the way that racing toward a goal often feels.  We get into a rhythm that seems to be working for us but then we trip on a hurdle that we weren’t anticipating.  It can be disheartening and frustrating but life does not set up races to be fair.  Life sets up races with a difficulty level that is on par with your goal.  The beginning may be clear sailing but you know that the end is going to be filled with hurdles.

The trouble is that we don’t usually have the hurdler’s advantage in life.  Although there are many hurdles we can anticipate, others will pop up when we least expect it.  We need to make much of it up “on the fly” as we go in life.  So complaining about how life tripped you up is not going to get you anywhere because life’s race continues regardless of your complaints.  Know yourself as best as possibly can and run with a realization that the hurdles are coming.  If you truly want that thing at the finish line, you’ll find your way through the hurdles.

Keep going,


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