The tale of the runner: One day many years ago I had the pleasure of a new private client who had arranged to come in to train with me. When he arrived he introduced himself as young fellow from Kenya who had emigrated to the United States after representing his country with distinction in one of the toughest Olympic events of them all – the 10,000m Steeplechase. He was of light build and clearly extremely athletic. His job in NYC was to run alongside wealthy private clients as a jogging partner – he literally ran all day every day. He had become interested in combat sports and wanted to give Jiu Jitsu a try. He asked to warm up prior to training and began running some laps around the blue basement. When I say this fellow ran – I mean he truly RAN. I had never seen such a perfect expression of human running in my life. It was like watching a gazelle as his feet barely seemed to make contact with the floor. To watch an elite Olympian run up close was truly a sight to behold and there was no doubt in my mind that he was probably the fittest and best trained running athlete I ever saw. We did some basic techniques and then he asked if we could do some sparring. I let him start mounted and we worked from there. Jiu Jitsu, as you all know, has a way of confounding the of even the strongest and most gifted if they have no experience of it, and in a short time he was in bad position. To my surprise he began hyperventilating and breathing in a very labored fashion as he frantically tried to get out of basic pins. After less a few minutes of thrashing about he suddenly went rigid and froze and asked me to get off, which of course I did. His entire legs were shaking uncontrollably and I could visibly see his hamstrings locked in the most powerful muscle spasm i have ever seen. He was worried he had torn both his hamstrings – thankfully he had not, but after just a few minutes he could not continue and had to sit utterly exhausted on the mats until he got enough energy together to get dressed and leave. What lesson is there in this tale for us as far as developing our own endurance? Do you have any similar experiences? Let me know in the comments!