Along with all the bling, the running (5k & 10k and half marathon) and connecting with new blogging/running friends, the weekend at Runner’s World included a motivating keynote speaker on Saturday evening.
The speaker was Dave McGillivray, the director of the Boston Marathon since 1988 and the author of a newly released book, The Last Pick.
Dave’s personal accomplishments are extensive… check out this impressive list that another blogger in the group, Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake, compiled:
- He’s run 126 marathons
- He ran a 2:29 marathon
- He’s a running philanthropist, who has raised over $100 million for various charities. (RW calculated this number because Dave is too humble to put a number on it.)
- He’s the original Forrest Gump. In 1978, he ran across the country—from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Massachusetts. He average 45-50 miles every day for 80 days with no rest!
- He’s run 41 consecutive Boston Marathons. He directs the race during the day and then runs it at night. He’s the last one to finish every year.
- Each year on his birthday, he runs his age. Last August, he ran 59 miles on his 59th birthday.
Since I’m a motivational speaker and I use my personal story as a catalyst to encourage and challenge others, I was totally thrilled that Laura, the fantastic coordinator of our weekend events at RW, included this in our lineup.
Dave was dressed causally and spoke with a relaxed, conversational style. His speech title, Defining Moments, was extremely fitting for the speech that followed. I wish now that I would have taken more notes, but I’ll have to rely on my pictures of his slides I took from my seat way off center.
Dave didn’t say this in these words, but from his slides and his message, it’s not hard to see that one of Dave’s goals in life is to make life better for as many other people as he can.
This slide accompanied a great story about Katie, a mostly wheelchair bound young lady, who wanted to do the Boston Marathon, but her physical challenges prevented her from doing so. Her desire and determination touched Dave’s heart, so he set up a modified course of 26.2 feet, complete with finishers tape for her to break as she finished running her marathon.
Of course, this is a message that is near and dear to me. Each of us doing what we can with the ability we have. “Instead of watching others and wishing you could do what others do, why don’t you try to see what you can do?” – Dave McGillivray
As he shared defining moments in his life—from failing in the first marathon he attempted to a promise made to his grandfather that he would run Boston every year to last year’s bombings at Boston marathon— he interwove inspiration and challenges for his audience to inspire us to be bold and to never give up.
Dave is short and that issue bothered him growing up, especially because he loved sports, but he was always picked last (hence the title of his book) for every sports team as a kid. But he has learned that even though he was picked last, it didn’t mean he couldn’t accomplish his dreams.
I’ve saved the best for last! Love this slide and what he had to say about it. Your life is your life. Therefore you should make the rules for how to live it. Yes, get and listen to advice from others, but only you can determine the best way to live your life.
This goes against the grain of most of what I heard (and wrestled with) for many years. The message I heard repeatedly from family, culture and religion was that life has to lived by a certain set of rules and those rules were determined by others… and you were damned if you didn’t follow them.
My game, my rules also goes against the grain of the typical keeping-up-with-the-Joneses attitude. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking because so and so has this or that, that we need it also. It would benefit us all to pause and think before we do/buy things simply because others have done/bought something similar.
Some will say My game, my rules is a selfish way to live life… and while it could be, it can also be the exact opposite way of living life. As Dave’s life story shows… he’s all about doing what he can to help as many others as he can.
My game, my rules… simply means you set the rules for your life.
Trying to live in ways that goes against your own wiring and/or in ways to impress others is the surest way to feel depressed and frustrated with life. It took me way too long to wrestle free from those mindsets… and the truth is, I still struggle with not trusting myself more than I care to admit. But life is too short to be lived by the rules of others, so therefore, I will keep on being the best me I can be!
My game – My rules!
Have you ever heard a saying or speaker that changed a mindset you had?
Or helped you have more confidence in something you believed?
What’s your favorite inspiring saying?