No one cares what you can do fresh

How you finish matters more than how you start.

In an interview with Cameron Hanes, ultramarathon runner Katie Knight had a great line:

No one cares what you can do fresh. Anybody, when they’re fresh, physically or mentally, can do a lot. It’s when you get past that point where…the body starts to get fatigued, you’re mind starts to feel weak, that’s when it matters.

I imagine this mantra can work in two ways:

  1. When she was fresh, feeling good, and performing well, maybe that saying kept her from getting too high and mighty with herself. Instead of thinking, “Oh, look how far and how fast I can run.” She may have thought, “The time right now doesn’t matter because no one cares what I can do when I’m fresh.”
  2. It can also work at the end of a workout, race, or project when you’re exhausted – which is how she meant in the video – to motivate you to keep going. Because no one cares what you can do when you’re fresh, the time at the end matters most. How you finish matters more than how you start. When you’re fatigued and your mind is saying it’s too hard and your legs can barley move and every stride feels like you’re hitting the ground with an earthquake, how you feel then, how you perform then, is what really matters.