The Hangover Rule


I’m not a big believer in peaking. But I am a big believer in something called
The Hangover Rule. And The Hangover Rule comes from many conversations
I’ve had with World Record holders in the throws. Now this might not be true in the pole vault
or high jump where you know what’s going to happen, you know how high the bar is, but
in the throws, I wouldn’t be surprised in the other events, you could go back to the
’68 Olympics with Lee Evans famous 400m run, is very often, a person breaks the world record
when they have absolutely no expectations for improvement. I don’t want to mention names, but I know
of two current World Record holders who on the morning of the event were extremely sick
by bad decisions the night before. One famously threw up in a rose bush. The meet director walked over and said, “You
know, things look pretty good today.” And so our future World Record holder stands
up and takes an easy throw, but that easy throw goes farther than it should, and as
the competition progresses, everything is working. New World Record. Everybody’s happy. I know this has happened several times. But I also think that this is the way of biology. This is the way the human body works. If you go into the gym, 3, 4, 5 days a week,
and you work with the body, you don’t stress it. That’s one thing I like about the work of
Phil Maffetone and Mark Allen. You know beating yourself down just beats
yourself down. Working with your body tends to lead to extraordinary
performance. Well, The Hangover Rule reminds us that sometimes
your best performances happen out of nowhere. I even gotta tie this into real life. For those of us who are in relationships
that last a long time, very often we try to plan getting into a great relationship, but
usually what happens is a number of bizarre factors link up and you end up meeting the
love of your life. Like in the book, 40 Years With a Whistle,
I talk about meeting Tiffini. Basically, I was tired of the whole dating
scene, I was never going to go out again, my assistant coach said, “Will you be my wingman
at this party?” I show up, he’s being setup with Tiffini. 31, 32 years later, here we are. No planning at all. I think that’s how the world works in many
cases. Things will knit together, seem together,
and all of a sudden, Boom! Amazing things happen. I’m reading a book now. The autobiography of the guy who came up with
fractals and he’s a big believer that the reason he was so successful is these random small events
and learned experiences and odd bumping into people who said this funny thing allowed him
to come to that leap in thinking that we now call fractals. So I just think that The Hangover Rule reminds
me of the importance of getting the work in reasonably, over time, and letting everything
build up in a natural way, so when it is time to perform, amazing things happen.

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