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  • Writer's pictureMike Ehredt

The Asphalt Classroom: Drinking from the Ego Cup......or not....

In the 2018 Opening Round of the Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament the University of Virginia played the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Not only was Virginia ranked #1 in the country with a record of 31-2 they were also the #1 Overall Seed for the tournament and were playing UMBC, a team that had lost 10 games AND was the lowest seeded team at #16.

David versus Goliath. No doubt.

Volkswagen versus Ferrari. Absolutely.

In a game for the ages and the biggest upset in NCAA History, UMBC knocked off Virginia by twenty points becoming the first #16 seed to defeat a #1 seed.....

In the 1972 Mens Olympic 800 Meter Final, American Dave Wottle was up against the favorites Evgeniy Arzhanov of the USSR and Mike Boit of Kenya. Wottle was running on two bad knees that had limited his training for weeks. He had been told that getting married would ruin his career. He was given an outside shot to perhaps medal. For 600 meters he languished in last place and then unleashed a furious rally to defeat both men and win the Olympic Gold...

Talent will only take us so far in this world. We carry a load of aspirations, dreams and goals and it can be a heavy load to bear. To make matters worse our ego expresses a hunger. It is created by our own arrogance and self centered ambition that requires feeding through positive reinforcement from those around us or by social media stimulation. The end result is that our ego prevents us from reaching new heights because we are reminded of and become focused on, what we have done, yesterday....

We are only as good as today.... but we can be better.

Case in point, the two examples above.

UVA looked past UMBC in 2018 and the following year would come back to win the Mens National Championship in 2019.

The world looked past Dave Wottle.

Mike Boit would go on to become a Professor of Sports Administration and Governance from the University of Glasgow.

Confidence is not Ego.

Confidence is knowing and believing that you have prepared the best you can to give yourself an OPPORTUNITY to do great things in that moment when the door to great things opens.

As my 8th Boston Marathon looms and my 46th year of running begins I am assured of many things for myself and those who will join me.

Slack off in my training for Boston and I will suffer.

So will you.

Let my ego tell my body and mind that I am something I am not and I will suffer.

So will you.

Find excuses, deflect blame, avoid owning my mistakes and I will suffer.

So will you.

Benjamin Franklin once said: "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail".

We rarely remember our successes but we never forget our failures.

So prepare your mind. Check your ego at the door.

Don't drink from the cup....

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