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Quotes by Amby Burfoot

 

As we run, we become.


- Amby Burfoot -

I have learned that there is no failure in running, or in life, as long as you keep moving. It's not about speed and gold medals. It's about refusing to be stopped. You might find that one particular direction proves difficult, but there are many directions on a compass. Infinite, in fact. As long as you keep searching, you'll find your way.


- Amby Burfoot -

It's wrong to believe that you need a certain physical body type to run. All body types can run. The people who succeed are not the ones who have the longest legs or the leanest torsos. The champions are the one who understand how to harness the power of the brain. Determination. Discipline. Organization. Time management. Friendship-making. These skills are what it takes to succeed in running. You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day, you have to be mentally tough, you have to use others to help you. The hard part isn't getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.


- Amby Burfoot -

When I started running, I thought I had to do everything 'right now' or the opportunity would be gone forever. I thought that if I missed a day of training due to injury, I had to run harder or longer the next day to make up for it. If I ran a bad workout, I had to run a good one the next day. If I missed a race, I had to find another one. Now I know that I have all the time I need. I no longer measure running by what it can do for me today. Instead, I love running for the promise and rewards it brings me year after year.


- Amby Burfoot -

As runners, we all go through many transitions—transitions that closely mimic the larger changes we experience in a lifetime. First, we try to run faster. Then we try to run harder. Then we learn to accept ourselves and our limitations, and at last, we can appreciate the true joy and meaning of running.


- Amby Burfoot -
1,001 Pearls of Runners' Wisdom

We have all learned everything we know physically—from walking to running a marathon—by trial and error, so there's no reason to become our own worst enemies when we suffer a setback. From time to time everyone falls short of their goals. It's an illusion to believe that champions succeed because they do everything perfectly. You can be certain that every archer who hits the bull's-eye has also missed the bull's-eye a thousand times while learning the skill.


- Amby Burfoot -

Too many people have refused to begin running or have quickly dropped out of running programs because they 'have no talent for it.' Ridiculous. Talent has nothing to do with it. The only thing that matters is mental discipline.


- Amby Burfoot -

I've never known a runner who had as much patience as he needed, but any and all amounts of this precious quality are invaluable. We runners simply don't get better fast enough to satisfy ourselves. Like the hare, we blast away from the starting line with visions of glory. We should be more tourtise-like. For that is the path to success… Give yourself time. Don't make hasty and unnecessary mistakes. Remember: You're in it for the long run. Life is a marathon, not a sprint; pace yourself accordingly.


- Amby Burfoot -
The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

If you aim for a lifetime of running, you will hit bumps on the road. Heck, let's be honest: You will hit something that looks like Mount Everest, and on the back side a gulf as deep as the Grand Canyon. The challenges we each encounter are uniquely ours, but they will come. We all have good years and bad. Shift happens...

Life requires us to make adjustments, to change course. Some years, when the waters of your life are calm and you feel a sense of control at the helm, you'll race hard, and hope for personal bests. Other years, beset by a perfect storm of turbulence, you'll have to settle for less. That's okay. Less is still something; just don't surrender and abandon ship.


- Amby Burfoot -
(Winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon)

Why run? I run because I am an animal. I run because it is part of my genetic wiring. I run because millions of years of evolution have left me programmed to run. And finally, I run because there’s no better way to see the sun rise and set... What the years have shown me is that running clarifies the thinking process as well as purifies the body. I think best – most broadly and most fully – when I am running.


- Amby Burfoot -

Winning is not about headlines and hardware [medals]. It's only about attitude. A winner is a person who goes out today and every day and attempts to be the best runner and best person he can be. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.


- Amby Burfoot -

We westerners have a tendency to look outside ourselves for secrets and shortcuts. But running is such a basic, nontechnical activity that the greatest truths may be the simplest. You have to train hard. You have to take rest breaks. You have to eat well but not too much. You have to expect some bad days and bad races; all life, after all, follows certain cyclical patterns. Excessive worry and hair-pulling won't do too much good. The best way to race well another day is to put today behind you. You can't change it, so you might as well accept it and move onward. Face tomorrow with a fresh, open, confident attitude. If you believe tomorrow could be the day when everything works out perfectly for you, then that may in fact be the case.


- Amby Burfoot -
Runner's World Complete Book of Beginning Running

Don't compare yourself with anyone else. The world is full of runners, so you'll probably see one every time you circle the block or your favorite park. Some will be thinner than you, some smoother-striding, some faster. But don't let this get you down. There's only one runner who really counts: you. Running is your activity. Make it work for you, and don't worry about anyone else.


- Amby Burfoot -
Runner's World Complete Book of Beginning Running

Success does not come to the most righteous and rigorously disciplined but to those who continue running.


- Amby Burfoot -

Go ahead and pick one: It's too hot, cold, humid, windy, wet, icy. Weather is a great justification for not running because it shifts all blame to the forces of nature. It's not my fault, you smugly assure yourself. It's that annoying guy on The Weather Channel who predicted the brutal cold front that came through and prevented me from running. Nice excuse. But it's not going to work. The weather is vitally important to all runners, but most runners figure that what doesn't kill them just makes them tougher.


- Amby Burfoot -

Winning is not about headlines and hardware. It's only about attitude. A winner is a person who goes out today and every day and attempts to be the best runner and best person he can be. Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.

Wining isn’t about today, it’s about tomorrow. A winner never rests on his laurels. It’s not good enough to win one race or have one good season. The winner is the person who gets up tomorrow morning & starts all over again, concentrating again on doing his best, whatever that might be.


- Amby Burfoot -
The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

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