Making Every Day Your Best Day

In 2011, Ryan Hall set the record for the fastest marathon ever run by an American-born runner. He completed the Boston Marathon in two hours, four minutes and fifty-eight seconds. In the time since then, he has never matched that time and has, in fact, run races that sports spectators considered disappointing. He dropped out of several races due to fitness issues or injuries. When he competed in the 2014 Boston Marathon, he finished twentieth in the race.

But, rather than let these apparent failures get him down, he’s maintained enthusiasm and continues to race. Some key philosophies keep him moving and sustain his enjoyment of the sport. First, he says that he never compares himself to other people. Each race is against himself. Second, he says that the activity itself must be the goal, rather than a record or a win. During every race, he simply focuses on doing his best and enjoying the experience of pushing his body and getting everything he can out of it. Third, he says it’s important not to compare against the best race of your life; because, every other day, you’ll be disappointed.

“I want everyone to experience the elation of what it’s like to win the gold medal, but obviously that’s not possible, Hall told The New Yorker in a recent interview. “But we can experience a joy that’s even deeper than that—like, every single person, every moment of every day. It’s possible.”