70 Best George Sheehan Quotes on Running and Marathon

George A. Sheehan was a physician, senior athlete, and author who specialized in writing about running.

Best George Sheehan Quotes


There is no substitute for learning to live in our bodies. ~ George Sheehan.


If you want to find the answers to the Big Questions about your soul, you’d best begin with the Little Answers about your body. ~ George Sheehan.


If marathoners finish they win. ~ George Sheehan.


Anyone with a sense of humor can see that life is a joke, not a tragedy. ~ George A. Sheehan.


The runner who is in peak condition is only a razor’s edge from catastrophe. ~ George Sheehan.


I am an intellectual. This does not mean I am intelligent, but that ideas are more important to me than people. ~ George Sheehan.


Fitness is just a stage you pass through on the way to becoming a racer. ~ George Sheehan.


Nothing is more certain than the defeat of a man who gives up. ~ George A. Sheehan.


I have met my hero, and he is me. ~ George Sheehan.


To know you are one with what you are doing, to know that you are a complete athlete, begins with believing you are a runner. ~ George Sheehan.


To keep from decaying, to be a winner, the athlete must accept pain – not only accept it, but look for it, live with it, learn not to fear it. ~ George Sheehan.

Famous George Sheehan Quotes

Do not tell me what to do, tell me what you do. Do not tell me what is good for me, tell me what is good for you. If, at the same time, you reveal the you in me, if you become a mirror to my inner self, then you have made a reader and a friend. ~ George Sheehan.

The desire to run comes from deep within us – from the unconscious, the instinctive, the intuitive. ~ George Sheehan.


Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing. ~ George Sheehan.

From the moment you become a spectator, everything is downhill. It is a life that ends before the cheering and the shouting die. ~ George Sheehan.


The athlete doesn’t stop smoking and start training. He starts training and finds he has stopped smoking. ~ George Sheehan.

Fitness has to be fun. If it is not play there will be no fitness. Play, you see, is where the process. Fitness is merely the product. ~ George Sheehan.

Running is just such a monastery – a retreat, a place to commune with God and yourself, a place for psychological and spiritual renewal. ~ George Sheehan.

Play is where life lives. ~ George Sheehan.

Courage is the bridge between our minds and our bodies. ~ George Sheehan.

Guilt is the unlived life. ~ George Sheehan.


If you don’t have a challenge, find one. ~ George Sheehan.

The more I run, the more I want to run, and the more I live a life conditioned and influenced and fashioned by my running. And the more I run, the more certain I am that I am heading for my real goal: to become the person I am. ~ George Sheehan.

Top George Sheehan Quotes

Because until we write it down, we don’t know what is actually at the root of our lives. ~ George Sheehan.

Of all the races, there is no better stage for heroism than a marathon. ~ George A Sheehan.

Success rests with having the courage and endurance and, above all, the will to become the person you are, however peculiar that may be. Then you will be able to say, I found my hero and he is me. ~ George Sheehan.

The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life. ~ George Sheehan.


Listen to your body. Do not be a blind and deaf tenant. ~ George Sheehan.

Once you have decided that winning isn’t everything, you become a winner. ~ George Sheehan.

The true runner is a very fortunate person. He has found something in him that is just perfect. ~ George Sheehan.

Anything that changes your values changes your behavior. ~ George Sheehan.

Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach. ~ George Sheehan.


Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be. ~ George Sheehan.

Life is a positive-sum game. Everyone from the gold medallist to the last finisher can rejoice in a personal victory. ~ George Sheehan.

Life is the greatest experiment. Each of us is an experiment of one-observer and subject-making choices, living with them, recording the effects. ~ George Sheehan.

If you think that life has passed you by, or, even worse, that you are living someone else’s life, you can still prove the experts wrong. ~ George Sheehan.


Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be. ~ George Sheehan.

The runner need not break four minutes in the mile or four hours in the marathon. It is only necessary that he runs and runs and sometimes suffers. Then one day he will wake up and discover that somewhere along the way he has begun to see order and law and love and Truth that makes men free. ~ George Sheehan.

Writing, someone said, is turning blood into ink. ~ George Sheehan.

Popular George Sheehan Quotes

The mind’s first step to self-awareness must be through the body. ~ George Sheehan.

I have a bumper sticker that Bowen created that says Regardless of my kids grades, they have an ‘A’ in my book’. Without play the child that still lives in all of us will always be incomplete. And not only physically, but creatively, intellectually, and spiritually as well. ~ George A. Sheehan.

The music of a marathon is a powerful strain, one of those tunes of glory. It asks us to forsake pleasures, to discipline the body, to find courage, to renew faith and to become one’s own person, utterly and completely. ~ George Sheehan.


If you would write the truth, you must first become the truth. ~ George Sheehan.

The answer to the big questions in running is the same as the answer to the big questions in life: Do the best with what you’ve got. ~ George Sheehan.

Exercise is done against one’s wishes and maintained only because the alternative is worse. ~ George Sheehan.

If you want to win anything – a race, yourself, your life – you have to go a little berserk. ~ George Sheehan.

People begin running for any number of motives, but we stick to it for one basic reason-to find out who we really are. ~ George Sheehan.

And while these pounds were being shed, while the physiological miracles were occurring with the heart and muscle and metabolism, psychological marvels were taking place as well. Just so, the world over, bodies, minds, and souls are constantly being born again, during miles on the road. ~ George Sheehan.

Have you ever felt worse after a run? ~ George Sheehan.

I will not last forever. But I am damn well going to know I have been here. ~ George Sheehan.

The real loneliness begins with my failures as son, husband, father, physician, lover, friend. ~ George Sheehan.

Why race? The need to be tested, perhaps; the need to take risks; and the chance to be number one. ~ George Sheehan.

Great George A. Sheehan Quotes

For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight. ~ George Sheehan.


No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life’s most rewarding experiences. ~ George Sheehan.

There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be. ~ George Sheehan.

The distance runner is mysteriously reconciling the separations of body and mind, of pain and pleasure, of the conscious and the unconscious. He is repairing the rent, and healing the wound in his divided self. He has found a way to make the ordinary extraordinary; the commonplace unique; the everyday eternal. ~ George Sheehan.

It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit. ~ George Sheehan.


To make your life a work of art, you must have the material to work with. The race, any race, is just such an experience. ~ George Sheehan.

Boredom, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder. ’There is no such thing as an uninteresting subject,’ said Chesterton. ’The only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. ~ George A. Sheehan.

Powerful George Sheehan Quotes

We may think there is willpower involved, but more likely…change is due to want power. Wanting the new addiction more than the old one. Wanting the new me in preference to the person I am now. ~ George Sheehan.

Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not. ~ George Sheehan.

On the roads, I can see truth revealed whole without thought or reason. There I experience the sudden understanding that comes unasked, unbidden. I simply rest, rest within myself, rest within the pure rhythm of my running. And I wait. ~ George Sheehan.

When you race you are under oath. You are testifying as to who you are. ~ George Sheehan.

The real competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit. ~ George Sheehan.

Sport is singularly able to give us peak experience where we feel completely one with the world and transcend all conflicts as we finally become our own potential. ~ George Sheehan.

So these were the 70 top George Sheehan quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Gabriel García Márquez quotes and Gabourey Sidibe quotes.