It has become a well known fact that our team is coined “The Punishers” for a good reason. As it is said time and time again, we rise to an occasion and punish those that face a threat in a race. We take their suicide pace, kill ourselves some more, and then push even harder to victory.
“But what makes a Punisher?”
To answer this question, we must look back at our training. We don’t only punish those that we face, but we also punish ourselves in our day-to-day work. By showing up every day, glorifying the grit in the grind, and performing our best, we are preparing to kill the opposition. Sure, the workouts may sting, and the long runs may prove to test one’s patience, but by sticking through these, we are molded into something greater than we were before. Something worthy of competition.
We must also look at our mental fortitude. All the way from our dead-set focus the night before a meet up to the starting line, we are designed to strike fear in our opponents as a collective team. With exception of the fearsome and coveted hype-circles, we remain focused to a peak of silence. These moments always give me that electric feeling that no other sort of moment could replicate - they show that not only are we physically invested, but also mentally and emotionally.
We also have to look at our ability to execute. Here, execute has multiple meanings. If you want to take a more traditional approach, we are taking a plan and performing it to the best of our physical, mental, and emotional ability. You can also look at it in a more intense manner, and I think Leo would appreciate me saying in the most metal way possible that we also execute the competition point-blank through our execution of the plan.
An important distinction to make here is that as a team, we are all Punishers. Every single link of this chain matters. No matter the times, places, or other performance statistics that are out there, effort is the greatest source of achievement. If you can bring it all to the course, and leave behind every ounce of effort you had out there once you finish, then that is the greatest accomplishment you could get. Regardless of time or place, you just pushed yourself to the best you could have. You punish yourself not at the sake of doing something wrong, but in order to do something right - to succeed.
So I ask again, “What makes a Punisher?”
If not our grit, determination, focus, drive, fortitude, execution, and preparation, then what else? It is also ingrained in our team that we are closer than just a bunch of highschoolers. We look out for one another, have a good time when everything is said and done, and help each other succeed. I strongly believe that this is why we are the best team out there, because we have transcended being just a team. To quote Chia from his Havana Night speech, “We are family.”
As the seasons carry on, and you look at the Vague Skies ahead of you, just remember the core principle of why we are out here every day - to punish.