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Posted on 08-01-2015
The impossible becomes possible. It’s a theme we are obsessed with. We all love movies like Rudy (which, if you have not seen you should put down this magazine and go watch right now...I mean it!) and Rocky. We love(d) stories about our athletes overcoming cancer to achieve and an impossible goal like winning the Tour de France. We want to hear more about a “lost boy” from Sudan who competed in the U.S. Marathon Olympic trials. It’s a big reason we pick up Endurance Magazine every month. Impossible obstacles are overcome by unlikely, often diminutive, heroes to achieve great success.
This is a story not unlike those above which are all based on true events, even Rocky. The common theme is not the level of greatness achieved but the authenticity in the actors who created those events. The clarity of vision they all have in spite of the impossibly long odds of success. They were focused above all else. Oftentimes talent is trumped by sheer desire. We love these heroes because we see a little of ourselves in each of them. We love to think that one day we can touch the greatness these few have touched and experience that for ourselves. This is what this story is about...
This past Sunday (December 2nd) Jack ‘The Hawk’ Mock won the Cat 3 State Cyclocross Championship in Charlotte, NC! “...Huh!?” I can hear you all saying it now. Before you turn the page, hear me out on my inspiring, Rudy-like hero story. Jack is like many of you. He’s an ordinary ‘Joe’ and he’ll tell you so almost to the point of self-deprecation. He works at Duke. Just got engaged to the girl of his dreams. He likes to ride his bike to work and play golf, pool, and have a brew with his buds during the week. Most importantly, and what I like most about him is he keeps it simple. His appearance kind of matches his moniker “the Hawk” because he’s good-looking like hawks are; they’re sleek. His head is bald and the trajectory of his nose is inarguably hawk-like. So, when weeks ago he declared that he was going to win the Cat 3 State Championship, we all cheered but in a “Yeah! You know that’s gonna be hard-as-hell, right...maybe impossible?”
Jack and I ride a lot together. Everyday since his declaration, he would repeat it on those rides. We would work out scenarios and strategies so he would be ready. His winning went from farce to fact in a mere two weeks. This is the common practice amongst champions. Their brand of “I will do it” is repeated ‘ad nauseum’ to the point where their bodies, emotions, and nervous system, are all programmed for one thing... “I will do it.” Jack was not the fittest guy in the race. Many of them were faster than Jack all season. He was not the most talented out there either. He simply wanted it more than any of the 50 competitors. He didn’t even win the race outright! He was second! The guy that won, however, was not officially residing in NC. So, it rolled down to him. We all thought he was the silver medal when he finished...still a triumph. On the podium his name was announce as the gold medalist. Can you imagine the surprise! He actually did it!
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