Make it count.
Like many of you reading, I was saddened to hear of Muhammad Ali’s death late on Friday night. Even though his last fight took place before I was even born, Ali’s work ethic, confidence and bravado have inspired me since I was a young athlete. “Don’t count the days—make the days count!” is a quote attributed to Ali and a mantra I repeat to myself in one form or another every day. Ali’s quote can be interpreted in a number of different ways and I encourage you to give his words some deeper thought this week and find a way to apply them to your own life. For example, when talking to my athletes about their training and the topic of weekly mileage comes up in the conversation, I often offer up this version of Ali’s quote: “Don’t count the miles—make the miles count!” Translated: Mileage totals, like the number of days, or hours or some other quantifiable metric, are largely arbitrary. It’s what you do with those miles that matters most. In the words of the great Kenyan cross-country runner John Ngugi, “Don’t waste good time!” Same goes for counting down hours when you’re bored at work, the number of days you have left with a loved one or calculating how many credits you need to finish your degree. Whatever it is you’re counting—hours, days, miles, moments, it doesn’t matter—chances are you won’t get them back. So make ’em count!
Further reading on Ali:
- 30 of Muhammad Ali’s Best Quotes. So many good ones in here. This one is another of my favorites.
- The Outsized Life of Muhammad Ali. “More than a generation after his retirement, and now, after his passing, Ali and his story remain known everywhere in the world. How many today know the name of his current inheritor, the heavyweight champion of the world?” writes New Yorker editor David Remnick. “The story of Muhammad Ali will long outlast the sport he took up, sixty-two years ago in Louisville, to avenge the theft of his beloved red bicycle.”