Learning to Fly
By: David Hickerson
5 years ago, if anybody told me to not run hard every day or to be patient in races, I’d tell them to “piss off”. I would then continue on about how they have no idea what they’re talking about. Well kids, at least now I can admit that I can be rather stubborn. As much as I want to be a badass punk and just destroy everything in my path, I will never be one. I think Coach Sisson may have actually preached this to me earlier this season. Hey, the man knows his shit!
I have recently come to the conclusion that at the elite level, the fundamentals of running are no longer top priority. Consistent mileage, speed development, and showing up on race day are just kind of expected. Having patience within these aspects is the name of the game. Possessing such maturity in running is one of the most powerful tools a runner can grasp. Talent and hard work can only go such a long way. How you apply such skills is what makes a champion. This is absolutely something bright and new to me. Old and new teammates alike can all agree that taking an easy day was something foreign to me. Going out hard in races was just how I rolled. My college career never really took off because of this.
8 years after my first collegiate track race, I’m finally starting to see things from all angles. The move down to Austin has been a totally eye opening adventure. This amazing new environment has supplied me with a new set of learning tools. My first track season running professionally was rather disheartening. I didn’t even get close to me goals and late season injuries only added to the frustration. However, I finally think I have a firm grasp of what it means to have maturity in running. I’ve simply learned to find the positives in every experience and learn from the negatives. Earlier in my career I would have dwelled on a bad race. I then would have proceeded to do something stupid, like run a 10 mile cool down at 5:30 pace.
I wish I could say that I am now completely immune to the emotional repercussions of having a shitty race. But at least I will actually sit down and assess the situation. The only way to improve is to take a step back to work on weaknesses and sharpen strengths. The results will come; it won’t happen just because you want it to, you just have to keep putting in the work. “Patience- the ability to put our desires on hold for a time- is a precious and rare virtue.” The great Chris Gowell would simply call it “Churning”.
Austin, Texas and I couldn’t have been a sexier match. The supporting crew and the resources provided are incredible. I really do see myself and those I train with doing some unbelievable things. I’m a firm believer in the old saying, “success is contagious”. Getting the wheel turning as a group is a great way to reach your goals. My high school coach would constantly remind us that as one becomes stronger, so does the group. You becoming faster will only help those around you get faster. This summer I will be putting in some serious mileage on the streets of Austin. I couldn’t be more excited to have these dudes by my side; Jt. “Clown Shoes” Sullivan, Austin “Surprise muthaf#*&@” Bussing, Matt “real.. comfortable… jeans” Cleaver, and Devin “Hamdog” Monson. At the conclusion of my first year at Rogue, I raise my glass to the next chapter!