Earlier this weekend, I was out running with a group of guys and someone ask me if I had read Théoden's Blog about Chris Lamperski. I had to be honest and say no. Somehow, I had been hidden in my own little world of running/work and Theoden had slipped a post to this blog by me.
But the discussion carried on as they described Théoden's column and the comments related to it. Let's just say some of the comments were not positive.
After our run, I came home and pulled up the Théoden's blog to read his column for myself.
First, let me say that I consider Chris a friend and wanted to share my thoughts on Chris. If you are wondering, I could have posted my comments on Théoden's Blog, but I wanted my comments to come out from the Cool Down Runner. This way there would be no mistake to who posted them. The internet can be like the dark of night; hiding in the shadows is made so much easier.
Anyway, I don't know if anyone has ever considered me undedicated or inconsistent. They may have but they just didn't tell me.
I know there are periods in my life when I didn't train very hard or race very frequently. In fact, if you look at my racing through the years, you will see that I didn't race for a couple of years and then followed it up by only racing once in the next few years.
Does this make me an undedicated or inconsistent runner, I think not. Life and other priorities have its ways of getting in front of running. That is just a fact of life that we all have to accept. Not all of us are paid athletes.
But back to Chris, I had a chance to watch Chris run and race many times; does he have untapped potential. The short simple answer is "Yes".
Will he ever reach his full potential? Well, that is for Chris to determine and not me. Should I judge harshly if he doesn't. The short answer is "No" and here is why.
Life doesn't always grant us the opportunity to reach our full potential. How many Kenyan runners never grow up to run because of family, location, or tribal culture. How many American kids finish high school or college runners enter the workforce only to run sporadically or pickup running again late in life long after their prime years. That's a ton of unfulfilled potential and doesn't make any one of these people undedicated or inconsistent.
In my humble opinion as long as Chris is happy with his life and he is training the way that he likes, we should be happy for him.
As one final take away, this world has enough people willing and able to tear us down. Maybe instead of offering a discouraging remake, try offering a word of encouragement.
Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner.