The 0.01 difference

Usain Bolt just beat Justin Gatlin by 0.01 seconds to win the Worlds at the 100 meter dash in track and field. That is the closest you can get to beating someone in sports.  The first time this margin of victory spoke to me was when Gary Hall Jr won a 50 m freestyle by 0.01 in swimming.  Then, the world noticed Michael Phelps beating Milorad Cavic by 0.01 in the 2008 Olympics. Today reminds me of that margin as well.

When you are elite, when you are great at the highest level, the margin between first and second can be razor thin.  Sometimes, you need computer replays and special tools to mark the difference.

You have to work hard and train like you are vying for that 0.01 difference. That will be the difference between gold and silver.  Winning and losing.  You have to train without losing focus for 4 years for it all to culminate in a one-hundredth of a second victory.  In our everyday journeys, we are training as well.  We are all training for something.  It’s not four years away, it may be sooner or later, but we’re all training.

It begins with what you’re doing tonight? Are you going to watch another episode of <insert favorite Hulu/Netflix/Amazon Prime>.  Are you going to sit there and zone out to an album?

Starting something tonight, even if it is only 10 or 15 minutes can make that 0.01 difference in the future. You won’t know until you get to the high stakes medal rounds, but that margin of victory starts now.

Go, do that thing you’ve been pursuing. Refine it. Rough draft it do death.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes.

“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” — Jacob Riis


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