They call it Raven’s Run. Robert Kraft was a young failed songwriter when he returned home to South Beach in 1970. He had taken beating from the music business in Nashville, getting no work and having a song ripped off that ended up making the country charts. He was angry, bitter, and a little lost. He began running with some guys from a local boxing club because it helped him feel better. Eventually he worked up to running 8 miles along the beach.
In an effort to develop self discipline, he made a commitment to himself to run 8 miles every day for a year starting January 1st, 1975. He made it, even though he had to overcome some serious obstacles. And he has run ever since through hurricanes, dog bites, and illness. 12,948 days in a row, and over103584 miles. For the past 35 years, every day at 4pm you could find the Raven at the 5th Street Life Guard Station in Miami Beach. And if you liked, you could join him, over the years hundreds of people have run the 8 mile course with Kraft.
Kraft isn’t a particularly fast runner, the conditions are generally good, and 8 miles isn’t a particularly far run. But he runs every day, and there is something extremely powerful in that kind of commitment.
We all have to balance family, work, and training. We all have different goals and different reasons why we practice BJJ. But we could all benefit from a serious level of commitment. I imagine where my game would be today if I had trained every time I had the opportunity.
Sometimes I feel like I can’t train because of money, or time, or lack of training partners. But that isn’t really true, we can always practice something. We can always watch video or read books. We can always work on our movement, conditioning, strength, and flexibility.
Amazing accomplishments don’t happen in an instant, or overnight. They are the result of thousands of little decisions and actions made day after day after day. If you decide to make a small daily commitment to your Jiu-Jitsu I wonder where your game will be in 35 years.
- Bill Thomas