God and Ryan Hall
And why have there been no articles on Ryan Hall? Here’s our best marathon hope (so we thought based on his time) who fired his coach, moved from Mammoth Lakes where he was training, and decided to listen to God for his training and preparation. When asked to list his coach for drug testing purposes, he wrote, “God.”
Well, he didn’t finish the Olympic marathon so he and God couldn’t get his training right. If I were a Christian, I would be insulted by this and as an objectivist, I find it ludicrous. I did find one article in a Christian publication where Hall addressed the issue. Evidently, his training was suspect because he pulled up with a hamstring injury just a few miles into the race. Most good runners would say that was due to a lack of speedwork and training at race pace. You can’t train slow and then expect to go so much faster on race day without stretching those hamstrings. Fast racing requires fast training in there somewhere. One would think God would have told him that! His own experience racing East Africans should have informed him that they love to race in surges. During the race, they inject a blistering pace until they run their competitors legs off. Ask Galen Rupp about these tactics. Rather than (or perhaps along with) turning to God, he changed his training such that he could compete against these tactics and was rewarded with the silver medal in the Olympic 10,000 meter race.
Hall should be angered that God chose to help Rupp, the individual from Uganda and the two Kenyans who earned medals, not to mention, American Meb Keflezighi (who held on for fourth place and has consistently out-performed Hall when the stakes were the highest in the biggest races) instead of himself. Rupp presumably relied on his coach, Alberto Salazar, who was one of America’s greatest distance runners although he never really realized his potential. Ironically, Salazar abandoned training tactics that worked well for him on the track when he changed to marathon running. He never was the same after the changes. His track experiences however made him the perfect coach for young Galen Rupp.
Enough of this foolishness already. This “name it and claim it religion” garbage has to cease. We cannot evade reality by avoiding difficult situations. It’s so easy and convenient to bury our heads in sand, religion, etc, rather than face the harsh reality before us which is: There is nothing else! It’s nice when someone comes to our aid in time of crisis but we really have no right to expect anyone to do so. It’s an uncomfortable truth yet it’s the truth all the same. Running well requires training and a respect for the distance. Without that, all the prayer in the world will not get you on the medal stand.
My own mother just had a procedure on her heart which was rather serious. She has to decide to eat properly in order to prolong her life and keep this from happening again. The choice is clear and laid out before her. She ate close to ZC before and lost an astonishing amount of weight with no exercise and she reversed many troubling trends. For whatever reason, she returned to poor eating and now she has blocked arteries. She can either choose to eat properly or she can eat badly and pray. Now, the doctors and nurses will tell her to avoid red meat and eggs and eat a bunch of vegetables. But she can look to her own history to see what happened to her health when she ate red meat and eggs while limiting vegetables. There is no need for perfection here. I would much rather rely on my own experience rather than some unnamed phantom that no one has ever seen.
Health is very similar. You must avoid carbohydrates to the extent you’re able. If you don’t, then you can expect disastrous results at some point and all the prayer in the world will not aid you. We have this scary ability to either prolong our lives or to end them based upon our own ignorance. It’s okay to be ignorant but it’s another thing to be irresponsible. Many of us would rather rely on the unknown phantoms rather than what is plainly in front of us. When you know what to do and you fail to perform it, there is no one to blame but yourself. The marathon called “Life” goes on and getting on the medal stand equals living a good life with no chronic disease. Have no regrets. Live life to the fullest and leave in peace.
It kind of reminds me of a story I heard from a Jewish Rabbi. He said, there was a man on a deserted island who prayed to God for personal deliverance. He prayed fervently three times a day. One day, a large ocean liner came by. The man refused to signal the ship because he was expecting God. Another day, a yacht came by. Again the man refused to signal the ship. Another day, a man in a row boat came by and actually saw the man. He offered to row him to the mainland but the man refused choosing to wait for God himself.
Eventually, the man died and found himself in God’s presence. The man protested and said I prayed to you three times a day for years for you to deliver me yet you never did. God, looking astonished said, “I sent three of my best ships!”
To Ryan Hall, I would admonish you to call your coach and mend whatever fence that was broken. You have to return to the training that led you to that magical 2:05 marathon that you ran. I know it was tough and you thought it was too much yet it was effective. If you ever hope to see the medal stand in this event, you make that call. If not to that coach, try Mr. Salazar. He’s had some good success lately.
I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from Ayn Rand:
“When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit. When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit. ”
Reality has to be the final arbiter for all us. It’s time to start living in it, as difficult as it may be.Share on Twitter
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: ZC Philosophy