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Quit While You're Ahead

Why don't people quit while they're ahead? When the late-great Michael Jackson was the King of Pop in the 80s, he should have hung up his glove and become an accountant or something. Look what happened to him. Not to mention Elvis Presley and Judy Garland, among others.

What makes people so ambitious that they feel it necessary to attempt to revive their glorious past? Unless you are Rocky Balboa, comebacks are rarely successful. Tastes change and the competition gets younger, more agile and more energetic. There comes a point where you have to say, "Look buddy, don't push your luck. You've had a good run, you've achieved fame and fortune, you've given it your all. Now go and do something else."

In an amazingly unprecedented feat of brilliance, last week I smashed my 4.5k record of 20:00, running the distance in 18:31. That's an average of 14.6km/h. About seven months ago I started out running 4.5k in 30 minutes, so reducing it to 18:31 is an amazing achievement.

You'd think I would be happy with that. But an athlete's ambition is an unquenchable thirst.

I'm not going to quit while I'm ahead. I'm not going to take my own advice and fade off quietly into the abyss of anonymity. I'm not going to rest upon my laurels. I'm not going to sit on a couch and watch others take the fame, fortune and glory.

I'm going to train for the 10k Jerusalem marathon. My new aim is to do 10k in 45 minutes. That's about an average of 13.3km/h. I'll pound the pavement and wear out the treadmill until I reach my goal. Then I'm going to find out what the times were for the top 100 people in last year's race and I'm going to aim to match it.

Then I'm going to enter the mid-March 10k race and give it all I've got, pushing myself to beat my personal best. It will hurt, the pain will yell at me to stop, my senses will shout at me to slow down. But I will not capitulate to imaginary voices. My muscles will burn, my legs will ache and my lungs will gasp, but I will settle for nothing less than magnificence.

And once the race is won, when the fans have returned to their homes to compose poetry of my greatness; when the chants of "Yossi! Yossi! Yossi!" have finally melted gently into the circling Jerusalem clouds, I'll sit on my balcony, drink ice-cold beers and dream of the next race in a year's time.


  1. Old performers do not retire - they move to Las Vegas.

  2. Looking forward to reading your bloggage about training.

    From the safety of my couch.


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