Pre was tough—there’s no doubt about it—but his toughness did not consist in any kind of superhuman imperviousness to pain or fear. Instead it took the form of a steadfast refusal to accept in himself the wimp that exists in all of us. Exercising mental fitness was a daily battle for him, but a battle he chose. ‘How tough in fact, is Steve Prefontaine?’ he asked himself in an interview for Track & Field News. ‘When he’s ready, very tough. When he’s not ready, not very.’
Matt Fitzgerald

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