CBS Sunday Morning profiled the great American marathoner Meb Keflezighi. Now 41, he ran his final Olympic marathon in Rio on Sunday. But some 30 odd years ago, Meb was eating dirt to survive, he told CBS:
“I just remember eating dirt for food, because your mind tells you to look for something … survival instincts, I guess. You just dig deep on the ground, until you feel the moisture. And you just eat it and swallow it basically. That’s food. Whatever you needed to do to survive.”
Since then, Meb has won a silver medal, the Boston Marathon, multiple NCAA championships, and logged about 100,000 miles of running (over four laps around the globe). That's a result of what he says is a 24-hour job. The 5'5", 126 pounder runs more than 100 miles and also rides an ElliptiGo about eight hours each week. When he's not doing that, he's cross-training, eating, doing recovery practices, or resting—all for his goal of running faster.
The lesson: It doesn't matter where you start, or what your background is. If you devote time and attention, you'll improve: