Arrogance Rehashed

Part of what I do on this blog is talk about running.  Mostly my running.  But let’s talk about someone else’s running for a change.

Ryan Hall.  First DNF ever.  At the Olympics.

My issue is not with Ryan and the DNF.  Many people are sure to disagree with me, but my issue is with his approach to his training and how he prepared himself to represent the USA in the Olympic Marathon.

He fired his coach (even before the trials) and decided he would let God tell him what to do.   He followed no training plan.  I find this incredibly arrogant.  And based on what happened, maybe God does too.

First, God has more important things to do than email Ryan a daily workout and running plan.  Did he really think God was going to tell him what workout to do each day?  And second, we are not meant to know it all and do everything alone.

I believe, based on the results, that God is telling Ryan to get a coach.  An actual coach.  And this was his way of taking Ryan down a notch or two.  Don’t assume that you don’t need help.  Or that you have God’s attention and focus.

Ryan’s arrogance got him nothing more than a DNF.  And his pre-race interview showcased this arrogance.  He said something along the lines of, “I have realized just how awesome I really am.”

And now we can all see it.  Thanks Ryan. Maybe you should reach out to Meb for some tips on humility.

About nfoste2245

I am approaching 40 and have been married since my early 20's. I have become more than a little frustrated with having to answer incredibly personal questions about my choice to not have children. It is apparently taboo to talk about religion and politics, but confronting me about my reproductive choices is fair game. It is not a choice I made alone, quickly or lightly. My husband and I made it together. I am not "withholding" children or grandchildren from anyone. There is an astonishing lack of understanding over the idea that it is an actual choice, to have a child or not. There is also an amazing lack of support, discussion and resources for those like me, that have made the choice. This is not a blog for kid-haters, or mocking people for having kids. It is a place where we can talk about living full lives, without kids, and without guilt.

Posted on August 14, 2012, in Fitness, Running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I would have to disagree with you on your opinion about Ryan Hall…maybe its just misinformation, but I don’t think he actually doesn’t have a training plan. He may not have a running coach – but he does his runs according to a plan that he has created after years of being coached. Furthermore, he has been running in this fashion and has won major marathons, so its not like his way of life is what created this problem…I mean, he made it to the team by running the olympic trials with a great time – through the training he implemented for himself….so its not fair to throw that onto him and call him arrogant. In fact, he is quite the opposite. He has a great deal of charity work in addition to the full time job of his running

    • As I said, it is just my opinion. I am sure he follows some sort of plan, but coaches are about more than a plan. But there are facts. He has only ever won one major marathon, and it was the US Olympic trials before Beijing. While he was coached. He fired his coach in 2010. Since then, he has a 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 2nd (half’s or longer). Before it, with a coach, he had 3rd 3rd 1st, 4th, 4th. He went on Mike Huckabee’s show before he went to London and said “God is my coach.” His arrogance is about his running and thinking he can do it alone. I was only speaking about his running and his preparation for the Olympics. Not about his charity work.

  2. Of course, the built-in safety for failing when you decide to put all your trust in “God” is to say that you didn’t fail, it just wasn’t “God’s plan.” Questioning this is tantamount to religious persecution (“How dare you question my beliefs and the will of god?”) If someone chooses to believe that “God” gave them a gift, that’s their business. But to expect “god” to do the work for them is silliness.

  3. I’m with you and thank goodness you wrote this!

    Some facts: Hall split with his long time training coach in 2010 and improved afterwards. Later this same year Hall became the first American to run a a sub-2:05 marathon, pretty cool. Hall has also said in a New Yorker interview in 2008, “I just have a hard time seeing Christ being competitive.” (

    My personal opinion which matters little: Ryan Hall’s competitive edge and the Christian themes of compassion and forgiveness have led to a struggle inside of him. Dare I say his vision of running to win is blurred. Maybe if God had a Twitter account he would have coached him through this?!? Oh wait he does:

    A great athlete/human who was not 100% fully invested in winning a gold.

  4. It’s like the story of the man in the flood who sat on his rooftop waiting for God to save him and the helicopter and boat came by and he still waited but ended up drowning. When he got to heaven he asked God why he didn’t save him and God said he sent all these things. Why doesn’t Ryan think that God made some people to be trainers so they could help those who were runners?

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