20 years ago, I ran D1 track and cross country– and told Coach I wanted to quit.

But first, this is me towards the end of the 3,000-meter steeplechase, after leaping over the water barrier.

We sometimes ran over 100 miles a week, two runs a day starting at 5 am, plus weight training.

Getting up when it’s dark outside, when you’re exhausted, to run 5 miles in 25 minutes will teach you endurance– to push through what you don’t think is possible.

The top guys on the team were from Africa– how could I possibly compete, I thought.

I was taking 21 hours while also working out and tutoring math, so my grades were suffering freshman year.

I told Coach that I had to quit the track team to focus on school. If I didn’t keep a 3.7 GPA, I’d lose my full-ride, academic scholarship.

But he told me that focus was what I was missing– that I had plenty of time I was wasting.

Did I watch TV, play video games, hang around to chit-chat at dinner, hit the snooze button in the morning, surf pointless sites on the Internet, go out to drink, or anything like that?

We all have plenty of time we can use when we are in focus mode– without cutting sleep.

So I stayed on the team.

And went on to have the best athletic performance of my life, plus get nearly a 4.0 my sophomore year.

This is not about “hustle”, cutting sleep, or having fake optimism.

Focus– cut out those wasted moments.

Scroll to Top