20 40 60, Don’t Walk, And Appreciate Your Absent Supporters


Hi folks,

It is fascinating how interested humans are in what other humans are thinking about them. This clearly makes evolutionary sense, but can’t we get over it? More accurately I should say, what they think other people are thinking about them, which reminds me of an old saying that I learned I don’t know where:

“When I was 20, I worried about what people thought about me. When I was 40 I didn’t care so much, anymore. When I turned 60 I realized that they weren’t thinking about me at all.”

Jess and Scooter, both great runners and supporters even though they couldn't make this race due to running camp or other dogs to play with. Thanks, guys!

I suspect that this is generally true, as basically most humans spend a lot of time thinking about themselves. By the way, I have also noticed that dogs are very concerned about what other dogs think about them, but this does not appear to be true of cats. Ever seen an embarrassed cat? At race meets you can often recognize the people who are ‘into themselves.’ Some of your competitors will make comments to undermine your confidence, and others are just happy to be there with you. One of my problems is that I tend to become distracted by the scenery and forget that I am racing. This is especially true for events where I know that I will not place, or in races that are essentially training for other, more important, races. For the run section of my last triathlon I went so far as to write a message on my hands to remind me that my job was to keep on running.

An important message to myself, written just prior to the Lake Placid 2011 Ironman race (my slowest yet, but I didn't stop running).

This advice was needed because my goal was just to finish. This was my fifth Lake Placid Ironman, but it was my first with an AAA-stent, and I was keen to ‘live to fight another day.’ It worked, but next time I’ll write ‘Run Faster.’ Whilst completing a 128-mile ride a year ago, during the final 5k category one climb, on a 16% grade, on the road written in large chalk letters, I read “SUCK IT UP!” It really helped me to do so.

I am coming to realize that endurance sports are 80% mental and 20% physical. Try body writing, it might work for you.

-k Your Medical Mind




  1. What does it Suck it up mean? It wouldn’t have meant anything to me.

    No editing.

  2. I should have edited my own Comment!

    • Kevin Morgan says

      Hi Marian, just submit your edits, I’ll fix it and republish. Remember, nothing on the web goes away, but you can edit it forever. -k @FitOldDog

  3. Pauline Watson says

    Congratulations on finishing the Iron Man. I was struck by what you wrote – about it being your first IM race post AAA, you wanted to just finish, and next year would write “run faster” instead of “don’t walk”. I think that this race was symbolic, and that finishing it was the incredible and meaningful thing.
    I had a somewhat similar experience 2 years after discovering my AAA; this had been 2 years of uncertainty, fear, stop-and-go training as I was afraid of blowing an aorta. I finally realized I could run without killing myself, so entered the 30 kilometer Round the Bay Race (older than Boston!). Unfortunately the foot pain that appeared the week before the race turned out to be a stress fracture, which was joined by another one at about 5 km. It was pouring with rain, but I hobbled through the race in my worst time ever, then cried at the finish as I was so happy to have done it. Sometimes it is really true that it is just the finishing, and not the time, that is important.

    • Hi Pauline,

      After a year of blogging you are still the only person I have met who really knows what an AAA is like to live with as an endurance athlete. Thanks for all the encouragement and understanding. It is very helpful.

      Kind Regards,

      Kevin (-k @FitOldDog)

  4. Tara House says

    Hi Kev,

    Just checking out your website today….this 20, 40, 60 thing, got my attention because I have been thinking about this lately. While I should be at the, ‘I don’t care so much’ stage, I do sometimes worry what others think. Yesterday, I found out about a book called, WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Now, I haven’t read the book, but the title is really powerful….cause it really isn’t my business…I have to say, I feel better : )


  5. Kevin Morgan says

    Hi Tara,

    Liked your comment, and so did Jess. I need your website address to link to my comments with respect to Pilates and Gyrotonic. Could you send it? Much appreciated in advance.

    -k @FitOldDog

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.