Episode 090: What Kenyan Runners Can Teach You About Success

Using Pain to Push You To Greatness

When you experience pain, what do you do? How do you react? Do you avoid it at all costs? Or do you, embrace it, use it to propel you to greater success and accomplishments than you ever thought possible? Today we talk about how a single African tribe has come to totally dominate the running world, and what it means for you.

Episode 090: What Kenyan Runners Can Teach You About Success

DISCLAIMER: Parts of this story that are a bit graphic, so if your children listen to this podcast with you, we would suggest that perhaps you listen to it first and determine whether you want them to hear it–it’s not explicit, we just describe some of the extreme pain that these Kenyan runners endure…

Why You Sometimes Need to Let Others Hold You Back

Sometimes, if you want to change the world (or even just an organization), you have to let others hold you back.

Wait a minute, Matt? Aren’t I supposed to be a hard-charging, take no prisoners, chase after my dreams, world changer? Yes, but sometimes you need to let others hold you back…

From your own overeagerness. From your blindness to potential problems. From your own stupidity.

Let Others Hold You Back Sometimes it’s good to let others hold you back. Find out why. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

Last weekend, my wife Tara and I completed our second Fort4Fitness half-marathon.

Highlights, Lowlights, and Lessons: September 2014 Recap

Can you believe it? The 4th quarter of 2014 is already here.

For me, that means my busiest season is here. With the Christmas season officially here, my consulting business really picks up.

This is a time to look ahead to a strong finish to the year, but it’s also a time to look back on September. There were many things to celebrate and many lessons learned…and as always, I share them all below.

September Fall Leaves 3 months left to make 2014 the best year of your life. Give everything you have. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook


1. Podcast Launch

All I can say is WOW.

The World Changer Show launch on September 16 with a bang! Three months of learning, planning, and promoting were worth it. We hit #5 overall in the Business category of iTunes on September 17, only one day after the launch.

Lesson from USAA: What More Sales? Walk a Mile in Customers’ Shoes

If you want to influence people, you have to understand them first.

If you want more sales, more followers, or more raving fans, you have to walk a mile (or ten) in their shoes.

Soldiers running a marathon

Last year, I ran my first half marathon.

The first two people to take off from the starting line were two soldiers, dressed in full gear. I’m talking camouflage pants and coats, boots, and a nearly 100-pound backpack. For 13.1 miles!

As I passed them near the one-mile marker and then watched them cross the finish line long after me (I’m bragging that I beat two guys carrying the equivalent of my wife on their backs!), I realized something:

Overcoming Pain: The Secret of Kenyan Runners & What it Means for You

Listen to this post

WARNING: Parts of this post have information of a graphic nature. Reader discretion advised. (Seriously, I wouldn’t let your younger kids read this).

How could this possibly be?

A single African tribe (the Kalenjin people) living in an area approximately the size of Massachusetts owns the running world. Seriously, check out these stats:

  • 5 American high school runners ever have broken the 4:00 mile.
  • One high school in the Kalenjin tribe had 4 breaking a 4:00 mile at the same time.
  • 17 American men in history have run ever a marathon under 2:10:00.
  • 32 Kalenjin men ran that fast in a single month recently.

But why?

Kenyan runner secret - overcoming pain
How does one small tribe in Kenya dominate the running world? Find out here: LINK (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

How is it that this single tribe can dominate the world of running? And what does it mean for you?

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Yes, genetics plays a role. The Kalenjin people have evolved over time to a certain build that helps them run quickly. There is no denying that. They are considerably better suited to running long distances than yours truly. That’s a fact. (If you’re curious about the genetic differences, listen to the audio version of this post above)

But the real thing that allows them to do this…

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Success Magazine

If I Did Not Run Today. | A Running Poem

Listen to the audio version of this post:

Well, this is a first for my blog.

A poem.

Hang on, I know what you’re thinking. A poem? Yes, a poem. Truth be told, I usually can’t help what ends up here. My thoughts and words just somehow magically transport themselves from my subconscious to the screen you are now reading. And today, that was in the form of a poem. Enjoy.

Run Today
If I Did Not Run Today

I ran today, but what if I didn’t?

I barely made it three miles and it was far from a sprint.

I rolled out of bed with all kinds of excuses.

Take the First Step

Start today. Start where you are. Start on what matters to you.

Those were my marching orders after reading Jon Acuff’s new book, Start. (You can read a full review of Start here)

Half-Marathon Running

I’m running a half-marathon later this year. My goal time is 2:08:00. For me, that is fast. About 1:00 per mile faster than I ran a 10k last fall. It’s going to be hard to accomplish that.

What if?

As soon as I committed to running, my thoughts drifted to:

“What if I finish last?”
“What if I don’t finish at all?”
“What if my training is disrupted by sickness, work, or…life?”

Then it occurred to me…what if all of those things happen?

Let’s say I get sick and miss two weeks of training. As a result, I begin race day having only run 11 miles on my best day. At the 11-mile mark, I have to stop and walk for a minute. Then I keep going…slowly. I finish last. I miss my goal by thirty minutes.