I have a hard time listening to podcasts. I’m not exactly sure why, but my best guess is that I need more stimulation than simply listening to people talk; I need bright lights, dancing dogs, fireworks and champagne, and then I need the whole scene to change every 3 minutes or so. I’m sure I would have been diagnosed with ADHD if I had gone through grade school twenty years later than I actually did. But Denny from Diz Runs posted an Instagram post about an interview he did with a man named Gene, and Denny called it a life-changing post, and for some reason I trust that guy, so I queued it up. And? Denny was right.
Gene is a recovering alcoholic, nine years sober. About 18 months after he quit drinking, he quit smoking and then about 18 months after that, he started running. He was quite overweight and so the process was extremely slow.
If you guys need some motivational energy, go listen to this podcast. If you’re going to skip it, then at least check out these quotes that I wrote down, straight out of Gene’s mouth during the podcast episode, a podcast episode that I listened to not just once, but twice. And for someone who needs bright lights, dancing dogs, fireworks and champagne as motivation to pay attention, that’s really something.
Underlining the entire tone of the interview is the theme of gratefulness. Interestingly enough, my dad practices gratitude more than anyone I’ve ever known, and he too is a recovering alcoholic. I sense a theme here. Gene says:
“I have always counted myself very lucky. I have always been someone who is deeply satisfied by incremental progress. That’s the thing that applies to my sobriety as well.”
“I don’t need to be the best there is; I’m just satisfied with being a little bit better than I was yesterday.”
Denny asks Gene, “Is there a direct link between your journey to sobriety and running?” Gene answers, “One day at a time. A marathon takes training. One day, step by step, moving forward, and doing what you can do today.”
Gene is super-educated as a science guy with a bunch of degrees and he makes a statement that I passionately agree with and have since I did my senior thesis on the subject in 2009:
“Physical exercise is about as effective as a lot of pharmacological interventions for depression and anxiety if it’s done regularly.”
“All I need to do is find someone who does what I want to do and let them teach me…I just look to people that know more than me and then I try to do what they do.”
“And the only thing it takes to be good at something is to be willing to be bad at it long enough. And if you’re willing to be bad at something and to not give up despite being bad at it, then eventually you will become good at it, whatever good at it means for you. I still can’t dance because I’m not willing to be bad at it.” *he laughs*
And my favourite quote out of the whole interview:
“Everything good in my life, I have, because I did something I didn’t want to do.”
This is what I took away from this podcast episode: That to be successful at something, we need to be humble, teachable, and most of all? Thankful. It’s easy to read on paper and then forget about, which is why this interview is so potent to listen to. Here is the link. And you can also find Gene at his website here.
Do you relate to any of what Gene says? What hits home the most?
What would you add to Gene’s recipe for success?
Gene, if you are reading this, is there something that I missed that you’d like to add? Thank you for sharing your story with us! You are a huge inspiration.