Jim Spivey and Jeff Benjamin, from Jeff Benjamin collection
Jim Spivey was a three time Olympian (1984, 1992, 1996) and five time World Championship team member (1983, 1987, 1991, 1993 and 1996. Jim also set the AR at 2000m with his 4:52.44, (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1987). Jeff Benjamin reached out to the former athlete and former coach, and asked him his thoughts on our current global challenges.
Awaiting The Baton In The Relay Exchange Zone – Profiles Of Athletes, Coaches & Legends During The War Against Corona
Profile # 2 –
3-Time Olympian & 3:49 Miler Jim Spivey
” These are Very challenging and difficult times we are navigating right now. I have heard multiple CNBC interviewers and CEO’s remark, “unprecedented times.”
As an athlete, I had only a small chance to quality for the 1980 USA Olympic Team. When it was announced, I don’t remember having any emotions. Steve Scott, Don Paige, Craig Virgin and Edwin Moses… those were the athletes that must have been distraught. Finishing 7th at age 20 in the 1500 meter final on June 29th in 3:42.30, the day after running 3:39.32 in the semi-final, completed my sophomore year in college. I do see in my training log that the heat was canceled (June 27th) due to lack of entrants, so clearly multiple athletes chose not to attend, either due to finances or motivation. 33.5 miles for the week. This was lower than my average for the preceding 10 weeks, where I averaged 47 miles per week, starting with the Penn Relays on April 25-26.
For current high school athletes, who still hope to have an abbreviated track season there State organizations are able to approve, one has to stay positive. Easy to type, and hard to implement. I found log books kept me accountable to my training, as I did not want to put in a “0” or no running for the day. Even if you have not kept one in the past, go on-line and find an option, or old school with pen and paper. If you have to write with a pen, “0,” they may get you out the door late in the afternoon for your run.
Keep in contact with other runners on your team. They need motivation as well. Goal is to hold each other accountable. If you call your teammate, and they did not run on the day, they will be encouraged to run tomorrow. Read a running book, and get others on your team to read the same book.
Start a post site for your team. At ASICS, we currently have a 10 month goal to reach a specific number of points based upon minutes of walking/running/lifting. If I achieve the goal, I am rewarded with 20% off my health insurance for 1 year.
Give your goal for the week or month to a coach, teammate or parent. As simple as “I want to run 180 minutes this week.” Send updates, then come up with a reward if you hit your goal. What type of reward? As I recently read the acronym, ABC = Always Be Creative. Daily. From a specific ice cream flavor purchased, to a new pair of running shoes?
Finally, for me, I am going to work with high school coaches that I know, and have a Google Hangouts or Zoom video chat with their team that join. I will walk through these steps above, and then show my Olympic participation medals and one or two running items.
Stay healthy, encourage others, and great to be alive and put in some miles. By typing this today, I will be accountable to getting in my 3 mile run today.”
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