“The ultimate is not to win, but to reach within the depths of your capabilities and to compete against yourself to the greatest extent possible. When you do that, you have dignity. You have the pride. You can walk about with character and pride no matter in what place you happen to finish.” -Billy Mills
Second Wind: A phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is out of breath and too tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion. Various theories have been suggested to be the cause of gaining ‘second-wind’ during running but as of yet, there has been no definite confirmation for the onset. Some researchers suggest that the second wind may be a result of the body counteracting the balance of the body’s oxygen consumption requirements and the build-up and removal of lactic acid within the working muscles. Others claim that the second wind phenomena is due to the release of endorphins during running which are the body’s naturally producing brain chemicals that are secreted and act to lower pain levels and reduce feelings of stress. Some scientists believe the phenomena may be psychological.
Second winds are just like making art.
No matter how many times prior your second wind has kicked in, you feel this time it won’t. This time is different. This time you’ll be exposed. You’re scared. You’re in pain. You don’t know what to do.
The only thing keeping you going is sheer will. And belief.
Belief in yourself. Belief in your idea. Belief that at some point your second wind will kick in. And when it does, you’ll be okay.
It’s the getting there that sucks.
Don’t give up. Keep going. Keep going through the suck. You’ll get there.
P.S. – Billy Mills, pictured above, has an incredible Olympic story. Watch this clip from the 1964 Olympics. Talk about a second wind and finishing kick! There’s also a terrific movie about him called “Running Brave.”