Ever feel stuck?


How many of you have ever had a song stuck in your head that you just couldn't shake? For me this week, it has been the song, Stuck in a moment, by U2. To be even more specific not the album version but the live acoustic version with just Bono and the Edge on Late Night with David Letterman. Needless to say, this song has been on repeat for me non stop. The story behind the song is quite unique. Bono and the other members of U2 wrote this song about a friend, Michael Hutchence, the lead singer from INXS that died at an early age of 37. This song was the conversation Bono had wished he had with him before his death. As I listen to the lyrics, I think that they are so fitting of a lot of the things that go through one's mind both personally and athletically.

How many times do you feel like you are stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it. Whether its injury, stuck in a rut or even not seeing the results that you want. All of these problems present emotions that you have to battle with in your own mind. My high school coach used to tell us religiously that distance racing was 90% mental and 10% physical. As a coach, I direct so much of my attention towards writing workouts, keeping detailed notes and seeing what is best for each one of my athletes individually. Yet, it is the mental aspect that is the hardest to deal with and address.

It's much like two people walking by each other when one says "How's it going?" and the other replies back "How's it going?" Two questions and often two that never get answered as they continue to just walk away from each other without replying. It is taking that time to fully invest yourself in your sport and your athletes.

I have seen numerous girls that I have coached that seemed like they were stuck, and that they weren't going to get out it. One of the hardest things an athlete must deal with is that sometimes you don't get to see the end results before you have to take the next step. Do you trust and have faith in what you are doing? Do you have trust and faith in me as a coach? The communication that an athlete and a coach must have is a vital part of the whole road to success. I have had too many athletes not willing to tell me when something physically was wrong. They either didn't want to disappoint me or for some reason thought I would react negatively if I found out they were injured. Then the peer pressure of being afraid how other teammates would view them. As if to say they were not tough enough or that they were just trying to get out of a workout. This is something that plagues our society and is enforced by everything around us. Do you dress the right way? Look the right way? Hang out with the right crowd? Peer pressure is certainly not going anywhere, but how we deal with it can make it inconsequential. It's just not how you act but it's also how you react.

These are all the things that can go through your mind when things just don't seem to be going right or at least the way you want them to. I have also seen those athletes that are stuck where they once were. They tend to put all their focus and attention towards something that just isn't there at the moment. To them I say set little goals. They often have this reality in their head that is based on a time when they were in a different place than where they currently are. This past Wednesday I did my first workout with the girls from start to finish in almost three years. 10 x 400m. I purposefully put myself in a group that I knew would be difficult for me to run with. From the first one all the way to the last one I had that slight nagging pain in my left heel. It was screaming at me to just go ahead and stop. Only do 8 instead of ten. Just drop out. Then I had the brilliant idea to split our group into pairs and then each pair took a turn leading the group. Now I had someone else depending on me. Drop out now and it would be very obvious. In the end, I walked away from that workout with a huge sense of accomplishment. Nowhere near the runner I once was, but a little step along the way back to being able to run. To think a year ago I was the coach on a bike at the meets since I couldn't run after my achilles surgery and even still at my age dealing with those inner voices and inner struggles. They just never seem to go away.

As the song comes to an end, the last line says it all.

It's just a moment, It's just a moment... This too shall pass.

So set goals for yourself that are attainable. Coach Tolsma, my college coach, always had us write realistic goals and unrealistic goals. Those realistic goals were the baby steps you made along the way. The unrealistic goals were those big dreams that you wanted, but couldn't put all your focus on. Those two things often feed off each other and need each other. Focus too much on the big picture, you lose sight of the things right in front of you. Can that not be said of racing cross country? The gun goes off and everyone is taking off like its a 100m sprint and when the pain starts to settle in, those focused solely on the end will find it far easier to give up than those focused on the race happening right in front of them.

Lastly, I always tell my girls, don't forget to smile. If this all wasn't fun then why would you be out here putting your body through the grind of long runs and workouts. Take a minute to read through the lyrics, or better yet go watch the video of them on Youtube.


I'm not afraid of anything in this world There's nothing you can throw at me That I haven't already heard I'm just trying to find a decent melody A song that I can sing in my own company

You are such a fool

To worry like you do

you gotta stand up straight

carry your own weight

These tears are going nowhere baby

You've got to get yourself together You've got stuck in a moment And now you can't get out of it Don't say that later will be better Now you're stuck in a moment And you can't get out of it

I will not forsake, the colors that you bring But the nights you filled with fireworks, they They left you with nothing I am still enchanted by the light you brought to me I listen through your ears And through your eyes I can see


And you are such a fool To worry like you do, oh oh I know it's tough And you can never get enough Of what you don't really need now, my oh my

You've got to get yourself together You've got stuck in a moment And now you can't get out of it

Oh love, look at you now Stuck in a moment And now you can't get out of it

I was unconscious, half asleep The water is warm till you discover how deep I wasn't jumping, for me it was a fall It's a long way down to nothing at all

You've got to get yourself together You've got stuck in a moment And now you can't get out of it Don't say that later will be better Now you're stuck in a moment And you can't get out of it

And if the night runs over And if the day won't last And if your way should falter Along the stony pass

And if, and if the night runs over And if the days won't last And if your way should falter Along the stony pass It's just a moment, It's just a moment this to shall pass


Songwriters: Adam Clayton / Dave Evans / Larry Mullen / Paul Hewson


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