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"Life is a Game of Inches..."

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 January 2018

Last Updated 17 January 2018


This journal entry is in support of the Tuesday’s Children Campaign running from July 18th – September 12th. To learn more about Tuesday’s Children, visit www.tuesdayschildren.org . To donate, click here.


This week’s journal entry is for anyone who has ever been stuck in their own personal hell. Whether you’ve found your way out or currently feel stuck, I think you will enjoy this journal entry written directly to my daughters.


Life is a Game of Inches...

“Either we heal as a team, or we’re gonna crumble… inch by inch, play by play…until we’re finished. We’re in hell right now, gentleman, believe me. And, we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell, one inch at a time…”


Listen to Al Pacino give the full speech, click here


Vince Lombardi – Coach Green Bay Packers



This week’s journal entry is a direct message to my girls. It’s an important message that I’ve been thinking a lot about during my workouts. Kids, you’re going to have that moment when you feel like you are in your own personal hell. And if you are like me, it will take some time to recognize and deal with it. That’s OK. Here’s what you do. Here’s the way back into the light.


You must first define a principle-centered path between where you are and where you want to be. This is not an easy task because it will require you to believe in God and in yourself even when hope seems lost. Have faith and do it. Just be patient. It probably did not take a day for you to be in the spot that you’re at, so don’t expect it to take a day to get out!


Then you must be willing to fight through it. Now, some days will be harder than others. As a matter of fact, some days will be so hard that it will take everything you have just to move one inch forward. Expect those days. Here’s a tip: To survive during this period, you have to surround yourself with people who also believe in what you’re doing and are willing to fight along side you. This was the mindset we had growing up playing sports. This was the mindset we had as soldiers. And finally, this is the mindset your Mom and I have for putting your interests ahead of all other “realities.” Whatever you do, don’t go after it alone. As sisters never let anything come between you.


Also, there is an important lesson that I am learning and hope to pass on to you through this message. You see, like life, training for marathons and triathlons every day is an exercise in fighting for inches. Over time these inches add up to miles and miles equal races. And like life, you can’t fake it. If you have no technique in your swim, you can drown. If you don’t stay alert on a bike, you can fall. If you don’t stay hydrated on a run, you can faint… And you know what else? By doing something like this that is clearly out of my comfort zone, I fail over and over again until I learn how to adapt. Girls, this is real world. This is how winning is done. It’s not about being perfect on the first or second try. It’s about staying after it, learning, and adapting until you find a way to win. My warning to you is that if someone offers you a different path, one that seems easier, they are lying. Don’t walk, but run the other way! It’s a trap, and it often does not end well.


To close, I want you to know that I love you. In your darkest hour, I will be there in one form or another to fight along side you. You never have to worry about that because I know no other way. And through this fight, you too will fulfill the purpose that God has created for you. Just have faith, work the plan, and most importantly never quit.


I look forward to writing more in the future. I have so much more I want to share with you as your father. For now, just know that you and your mother are and will continue to be the focus of my life.


With Love,



Training Schedule:

Currently, I have 2 more hard weeks until I tapper my workouts down for the Sept 12th 70.3 mile Ironman. Goal is to not excel but to survive and learn. Below is this week’s training schedule:

Monday: Swim 20 x 100m (15sec rest); 6 x 400m and 2 x 200m

Tuesday: Brick Workout – Bike 2 hours; Run 1 hour; Strength training

Wednesday: Swim 2 x 1200m (30sec rest between sets); Bike 2 hours

Thursday: 20 x 25m (10sec rest), 10 x 50m (15sec rest); Bike 60 min

Friday: Bike 4 hours; Run 45min

Saturday: Run 2 hrs 15 min

Sunday: Advanced Pilates (Strengthen Core / Stretch)

Note: Warm-up, cool-down, stretching, ice must occur for every workout


Last Thoughts:

Thank you for all of the heartfelt emails that I received in response to Dozer’s passing. Clearly, my last journal entry resonated with many of you.


Our family is doing OK. We’ve been saying hello to Dozer at the dinner table each night for the last two weeks.  Our other dog, Bella, seems to be taking it the worst right now.  We're going to keep an eye on her and give her a little extra attention.  


I hope you find these newsletters as a source of motivation with your early morning coffee. If you are going through a tough time right now, hang in there.  Know that you are not alone.