“Today’s Not My Day”

“Today’s Not My Day”


The Boston Marathon took place on Monday. Of the 119 years of this great race, 2018 was one of the coldest on record. The temperature was in the mid-30’s, a steady head-wind of 20 mph, pouring rain and a windchill factor of 20 degrees. This is not the type of weather you want to be outside in, let alone run 26.2 miles.

Des Linden was running in the elite pack of women. She was hurting and cold. Her teeth were chattering. Her muscles were not responding. At about the 6 mile mark, she turned to fellow American competitor, Shalane Flanagan, and said, “Today’s not my day. If there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know because I might drop out.” At the 12-mile mark, Flanagan did need Linden. Flanagan dropped from the lead pack to take a pit stop in a porta-poty. Linden hung back with her and waited for Flanagan to emerge. Linden then willingly sacrificed herself for Flanigan by allowing Flanigan to draft off her as they surged back to the lead pack.

As the race progressed, Linden stayed in it, mile after mile. She thought that maybe another American would need her help. At the 19-mile mark, Linden found herself in 3rd place. Many of the elite runners had quit or faded. Linden began to understand that everyone was feeling exactly like she did. She made a move and easily took second. A little while later, she surged for the lead. At the 20-mile mark, she had a three second lead that continued to grow.

Des Linden became the first American to win the Women’s race at Boston since 1985. She won by over four minutes. Not bad for someone who said, “This is not going to be my day.”

Joe’s Perspective #1 – Keep on Keeping on: What a great metaphor for life. Some days the weather is not what we want. Still, you begin the race. We all have doubts along the way. Some days we don’t feel like it’s going to be our day. Still, you compete. We all have pain. We hurt. It’s never easy. Still, you persevere. Sometimes we have to barter with ourselves, focus on the very next step, keep running and just never quit. And that, my friends, is how you win the race. You just keep on, keeping on.

Joe’s Perspective #2 – It Helps to be Other-Oriented: After the race, Flanigan was interviewed. She was asked about her conversation with Linden at the 6 mile mark. Her response was very astute, “Maybe her (Linden) mind shift made it possible for her to have a better race. She was just self-serving to other people and maybe that just elevated her performance. She wasn’t invested in herself anymore and that just lightened the mood for her.” Maybe in this “me-oriented, I’m going to get mine” culture, it is a good idea to think of others first. Maybe this lesson translates well to life too.

Your Turn: After reading/watching this story, explain how this example can benefit you?

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  1. I can use this as an role model for my life. We can’t have a good day everyday but this can inspire me to keep pushing and working at it even when I don’t feel great or other extraneous factors are acting upon me. I see what this woman did even in terrible conditions and all I need to do is believe I can too

  2. This example can benefit me to keep on going and to push through any struggles I have because of how the people in the article kept going on till they finished.

    1. I agree with Richelle because if you are struggling with something and you think of Linden you could get motivated and move forward with what you are doing and push through and get it done

  3. What a great metaphor for life. Some days the weather is not what we want. Still, you begin the race. We all have doubts along the way.

  4. this really gives me people to look up to. it shows me that people work so hard no matter weather and they always push themselves to their highest level.

  5. Some people can have good days and some people have bad days, but we can try to not have a bad day.So don’t give up keep on trying. Don’t let know one make you have a bad day keep on smiling.

  6. i’m so amazed the fact that she was trying for 11 years to win the boston marathon and she was able to succeed that goal for so long and she took second place on 1985 and she worked so hard to win the marathon and i agree that some people dont always have good days how she did and was not expecting that to happened to her.