Leaving it all on the floor.

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“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”

Leaving it all on the floor is a sports metaphor that refers to playing hard and giving your all in a game. As the saying goes, “We play the way we train.” Your effort in training would eventually show up during game time. It involves having a passionate approach to playing or participating in a game. We get rewarded in public for what we have diligently practiced in public. The former boxing heavyweight champion Joe Frazier was right when he said, “You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.”

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my ax.” – Abraham Lincoln

I ran my first full marathon in Accra, Ghana, with a finish time of 5 hours. I have since gotten to a different level of training and understanding of marathon running through research, daily training routines and cross-training approaches. Earlier this year, I reduced my personal best for a marathon from 3 hours and 44 minutes to 3 hours and 20 minutes. Every marathon is different; the course path could either be flat or hilly, and the weather (windy/mild/sun) and your state of mind are all factors that affect individual performance. My marathon goal next year is to run a sub-3-hour marathon and qualify for the 2025 Boston Marathon. To achieve these two goals would require leaving it on the floor during every training session.


My daily training session includes a lot of cross-training across multiple sports such as running, swimming, cycling, basketball, pickle ball, badminton, volleyball and strength-weight lifting. In every training session, I try training session; I try to leave it all on the floor by going all in with the reps, drills, laps, workouts and routines. This approach involves a lot of repetition, doing the same drill and mastering different parts of play before moving to the next level. As late martial artist Bruce Lee famously said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Leaving it on the floor during training becomes a memory muscle, and game day is much easier to execute. As the military saying goes, “You train hard because the more you train in peace, the less you bleed in war. ” The key is always to stay prepared by leaving it all on the floor daily.

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” ― Archilochus

Leaving it all on the floor is a practice that the Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, and other military training institutions adhere to; it involves exhausting the trainees to get to their core, bring out the best in them and ultimately execute when they are supposed to perform. Former bodybuilding champion and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger describes this approach to training in his book, Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life 1. He writes:


In the selection process for Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, instructors don’t really start to test candidates until they’re completely fucking miserable. They exhaust you, they scream in your face, they restrict your calories and keep you outside or in the water until you’re freezing and you can’t stop shaking. And that’s when they try to drown you or break your brain with little tests of fine motor skills and teamwork. But even then, they’re not really testing for competence. They don’t actually care whether you can complete the task. They’re testing to see whether or not you’ll quit when the pain gets to be too much. They’re not interested in skill development or physical growth. Skill development comes later. And they know a driven candidate will take care of the physical part on their own time. They’re looking for character growth. Which, in the pursuit of greatness and grand visions, is sometimes the most important thing.

We play the way we train.

I had to train consistently over a long period to reduce my marathon running finish time. I averaged 90-100 KM per week in running volume during the summertime. It was exhausting to go for the runs daily, but I knew I had to leave it all on the floor daily. To be what you have never been, you must do what you have never done, which requires deliberate practice, hard work and consistency. It involves moving from consistency to intensity, increasing your practice time, cross-training and trusting the process.


In July 2023, I increased my training volume to an average of 3 hours of training, and according to my Strava stats, I exercised for an average of 3.5 hours every day across multiple sports. I averaged at least 15 KM of running that month, which ultimately paid off by reducing my best time from 3:44 to 3:20 for a full marathon. It was not easy going all out, but everything is possible to decipher with a strong why. One has to believe in oneself and execute relentlessly. I reached my goal and boosted my self-confidence by leaving it all on the floor during training.



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All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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