Every Sunday morning, I run with a group in Manhattan Beach called the Wall-Nuts. Many of these guys (they’re all guys) have been running together every Sunday for more than 30 years.  It’s a very collegial group and we’ve all managed to become good friends.

This morning, we were treated to a celebrity as Tito Lezama, this year’s winner of the Manhattan Beach Hometown 10k, joined up with the Wall-Nuts and regaled us with his story about winning this past year’s race.

At the 4 mile mark, he and his long time rival John Poray were locked in a battle to win the race.  John had led to that point and looked very strong.  John had been running 130 miles per week to train versus the 70-80 miles that Tito had been running.  Tito was losing the race and also failing to live up to his own high standards.

Every one of us has an opportunity in life to go “all in.”  It may be with our family, in our business, with a relationship, in the field of sport, or all of the above.  Tito’s opportunity came at mile 4 when a steep hill was all that separated the runners from a straightaway on The Strand to finish the race.  He decided to dig deep for everything he had left, sprint up the hill, and pass John with a commanding authority that left no doubt about his intention to win this race.  John succumbed to the power of Tito’s will and ceded the race to him.  Though Tito didn’t achieve his original goal of running sub 31 minutes, he did finish in 31:06 and crossed the line a commanding 20 seconds ahead of his competition.

Where in our life can we go “all in,” and make such a total commitment to our intended outcome that nothing could ever hope to stand in our way?  Where in our lives can we borrow from Tito’s commitment at mile 4 of the run and leave everything we have out on the race course of life without anything left in reserve?

Life is short.  Play big.