Burning the Ships: The explanation I didn't give on TV last week

I was recently interviewed on Great Day Washington WUSA9, and two things happened.

 1. I introduced myself for the second time to NFL legend Darrell Green.

Fifteen years ago, I actually gave him his ticket to President Bush's National Day Of Prayer And Remembrance Service right after September 11, 2001, when I was a baby intern at the White House.  As I've mentioned on here before, 9/11 was the second day of my working at the White House so you can imagine how discombobulated I was. I ended up stepping out into the street - -in the rain - to hand Mr. Green his invitation - through the window of his SUV - in order to get him on his way to the event. 

When I realized Green was the guest on Great Day Washington right before me last week, of course I marched right up to him and reminded him of how we "met" over a decade ago. As if he'd care. And I neglected to mention that I was there because I was also a guest on the show that morning. So now I'm pretty sure Darrell Green thinks some crazy girl stalked him for 15 years and finally found him at a local television station. The End.

2. The hosts of Great Day referred to a place in my book where I use the phrase "burn the ships" to describe one of the tricks I use to keep myself running.

I didn't have time in the interview to fully explain, so I figured I'd post the excerpt from the book here.  Would love to hear some strange ways you all keep yourself running! Comment below or message me through a link on my contact page! 

Burning the Ships - an excerpt from Confessions of an Unlikely Runner

Another trick I use to motivate myself to run is to “burn the ships.” It’s a reference my pastor used in a sermon. He was referring to a Spanish conquistador who, upon landing on some shore to start a conquest, ordered his men to burn their ships, leaving them no option to retreat. (I can’t remember why my pastor was talking about Spanish conquistadors, and my church doesn’t even own ships, but for some reason I was drawn to the idea of cutting off retreat options. Which seems pretty dramatic, now that I think of it, and I should probably figure out what he was talking about, in case he meant his staff would be blocking the exits the next time he gave a sermon.)

Anyway, back to burning the ships. Race fees are non-refundable, and bragging on social media about the race you are going to do is non-retractable. So sometimes I pay for races and announce them just to cut off my retreat routes until my heart catches up to my head in believing the race will be worth it. My head knows the race will be worth it—because they always are, and because there are always free bagels at the end—but my heart may need to be dragged along a bit before it agrees and stops attempting retreat.

Pro tip: Sign up for a race you have to get ready for. Don’t overthink it, just lock yourself in before you lose your nerve. Now you and your heart have a reason to run more often until then, because there are dollars, pride, and bagels on the line.