Thursday, August 2, 2007

Why "Get Fast Or Quit"?

I must tell you that I've pondered this question over and over again. How is it that you can look someone in the face and say "Get fast or quit". What do you expect their response to be? Does it offend you? Should it? Does it light a fire under your ass? Should it? Or is it one of those comments that you can use as a mantra, and not worry about what it really means.
The origin of GFOQ dates back to the early 80's when my good friend Mark Temple was competing as a pro triathlete in a little Texas triathlon alongside some stiff competition that included an unknown Lance Armstrong. Unknown to the world, but well known in Texas as a young (16), brash, cocky, but very talented cyclist and triathlete. Out on the run, Mark was passed by Lance and he offered your normal "nice job" as Lance went by. Expecting the normal "you too" response, Mark was countered with a memorable "Get Fast Or Quit" statement.

Now you might think that Lance had all the right in the world to offer that bit of "advice". By all means, he was Lance Armstrong. But he was the unknown Lance Armstrong. Who did he think he was? Well, I'm sure it was exactly that attitude which propelled him to 7 Tour victories and still drives him today. After the recent Evergreen Triathlon (our clubs premier international distance event) I was talking to pro triathlete Brian Rhoads and posed the question, "What makes you want to get fast and not quit"? I wasn't really expecting much of an answer since, who am I to question a pro about what makes him tick. His initial response (jokingly) "For the money!!!" Then he got real serious and answered my question with all the respect in the world. In summary, he said, pros have an internal drive to push themselves to the limit and balance that edge toward disintegrating. Their biggest fear is to fail and their biggest thrill is to perform at the highest level.

That being said, for me GFOQ is an internal driver. A personal mantra or self affirmation that can drive you to improved performance. It doesn't have to be a threat or a challenge. Have fun with it. Spread the word, create a movement. If someone says to you "get fast or quit", think about it, and decide for yourself, how do you want to use it?

Tell me, what makes you want to get fast and not quit?

1 comment:

smcd said...

Being married to an IronMan?
I love you.