How You Perceive Yourself Will Determine How Well You Perform As An Athlete And In Life In General


Jay Smith Nationally Ranked in Masters Track And Field, 60-64 Age Group.

Here is Jay Smith Nationally Ranked in Masters Track And Field, 60-64 Age Group. I see him at the UNC track on Sundays, where he says I’m an inspiration. He’s the real inspiration as I learn a lot from watching a real runner.

Hi! Thanks for coming by!

Photo of FitOldDog at Johnny's, by Tara, who labeled it 'The Thinker.'

FitOldDog at Johnny’s, by FitOldDog’s friend and Gyrokinesis instructor, Tara, who labeled it ‘The Thinker.’

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In order to perform well as an athlete, or in anything else for that matter, your self-image is critical, and it has to be a right blend of humility and confidence. Your friends and fellow athletes can help you with this, because as Robert Burns said:

O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion.
― Robert Burns, The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns

It might therefore pay to listen to the opinions of others about yourself, but my advice is that you consider the source, and stay strong but not rigid in your evolving philosophy of life.

Photo sent to FitOldDog by Randy, his friend, who said that this was his image of my personality. It was meant as a compliment, and taken as such, thank you Randy.

Photo sent to FitOldDog by Randy, his friend, who said that this was his image of FitOldDog’s personality. It was meant as a compliment, and was taken as such, so thank you Randy.

For athletes, the slightest doubt can kill your performance, but this must be tempered with caution, or as sure as eggs are eggs you will injure yourself. Remember to stick to a plan of safe exercise for better health, which includes a focus on body awareness and the willingness to compete, but not to win at all cost. This is where you have to beware the combined effects of your ego and exercise-induced endorphin release. I don’t know if you have experienced the ‘runner’s high.’ I did once, 20 miles into a long run, and it was as though I was floating on air, effortlessly. Never felt it before or since, and my reaction was to stop running! I don’t trust euphoria as a guide to life’s decisions, as their is usually a sting in the tail – temper emotion with reason and you won’t make some of the disastrous mistakes I’ve made. You might also avoid a visit to the knee surgeon (been there three times – slow learner). So as you can see, I’ve recently been compared to a well-endowed potato, the Thinker by Rodin. Prior to that I was called a bully (don’t remember doing that). For a number of years I was compared to Genghis Khan behind my back for my lack of diplomacy when commenting on other peoples research. I thought I was constructively calling a spade a spade – I had a lot to learn about people at that time.

Chez Ollie Photo of Jay Smith at the UNC track. Photo by FitOldDog.

One woman said I was a rat (not fair, though based on the rats I’ve known it may have been meant as a compliment), and another called me slime (clearly a compliment given the magical thixotropic properties of mucus). I’ve been told by some that I am generous, whereas one girlfriend said I had a poverty mentality (I think this changed me for the better). Yesterday, Jay said I was an inspiration, when he is actually the person who inspires me to run better when I see him at the UNC running track on Sunday afternoons.

So, what am I? – I’m a young man trapped in an aging body, wondering where all the years went, being myself, trying to improve every day and qualify for Kona, enjoying tea every morning for as many mornings as I can. Do I ever doubt myself as an athlete? Well, yes, as a runner I do. When that happens I remind myself that I made it to the Boston Marathon in 2009, qualifying with my Chez Ollie, so maybe I can do that again, it was a blast!

Yes! I’m a happy triathlete, approaching 70 years of age, and Chez Ollie!

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Trevor Morgan says

    “Young man in an aging body”
    Wow, I will never make it that far. I am an 8 year old boy trapped in an aging body.
    Got to go – the Beano has just been delivered and there’s jelly for tea!

  2. You sound chipper. -kevin

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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.