Run Hard Be Nice

Forty things I’ve learned in my first 40 years.  Learn more about the series here.

2 of 40…

Run hard and be nice to people – it’s become my life philosophy.  Thanks to the inspiration from running shoe company, Saucony – see their graphic below.

Run Hard Be Nice

For me, the two pieces of this philosophy work in unison.

Let’s break it down!

Run Hard…

Plan and simple, I need my exercise.  Without it, I’m grumpy, anxious, and my thoughts are way too jumbled.  I’m wired in a way that makes pushing my physical limits a requirement for being the best I can be.

I’ve learned that I need an outlet.  For me it’s running.  It’s my me time – a time to breath, think, pray, and refresh.  I think of sweating on a good run as oozing out the negativity to make room the positive – fresh water, if you will.  It’s like changing the oil in your car.

But, like changing the oil, it’s not always convenient to get it done.  Fortunately, I always feel better after a run.  ALWAYS!

… and Be Nice to People

A few days ago, my wife and I were at a loan closing for a new home we are building (gulp!). During the meeting, the lender and the title company agent both mentioned that I was such a nice person to work with throughout the process.  My wife has been picking on me ever since 🙂  Rightfully so.

The funny part about it?  I was probably the most high maintenance client as well.  I called almost daily to ensure all remained on course, and made numerous requests along the way. It’s all about living life in a way that people want to help you rather than have to help you.

I’m human, and can be a tremendous a$&hole.  Day-by-day, I’ve tried to minimize my moments and get better with age. Strangely, the hardest part is to be consistently nice to those I’m closest to — those I share a roof with.  Sadly, I think this is quite common.  We’re all too often at our worst with those that we love the most.  Hhhmmm.

Be nice!  It’s simple to say, but oh so difficult to consistently pull off.  Say thanks.  Smile.  Hold the door.  Allow a car to merge in front of you.  Leave an extra good tip.  Give a compliment.  Bite your tongue when it truly doesn’t matter.  Listen.

What else?

A few other random points to think about:

  • Physical activity is truly a wonder-drug.
  • It’s a myth that kind, gentle people can’t be high achievers.  You can be kind and not be a push over.
  • You know what they say about nice guys finishing last?  What a stigma!

Takeaway 2 of 40

Find your outlet – we all need one.  Whether your outlet is walking your dog, golf, chess, or yoga, make sure you take time to invest in it – consistently!

Personally, being nice to others is made far easier by my time spent running.  I’m more patient, more calm, and take myself far less seriously.  Much like the oxygen masks on an airplane, you must take care of yourself so that you can then effectively take care of others.

And that stigma about nice guys and where they finish?  It’s a risk I’m happy to flirt with.

At the very least, my race results are pretty solid!

Enjoy today,

~ Mark


I’m continuing to stay free of Facebook and Twitter — it’s not a judgment, just a way of me choosing how to use my time! Again, I have nothing against either social media platform and all of you who are actively engaged. Due to my lack of presence on these platforms, please feel free to share on my behalf. Thank you! 

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