The Bob Cicon Rule

I don’t see my old friend Bob Cicon much these days, so it was interesting that I ran into him the very day after mentioning his name at the Luzerne County Community College commencement.
I had told a colleague about something I’ve been calling “The Bob Cicon Rule” for, oh, 40 years. Maybe more.
And the next day, there’s Bob.
The colleague was Dr. Steve Housenick, fellow faculty member. The first time I met Steve I told him he was a dead ringer for Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee. He said I wasn’t the first who said that.
We don’t run into each other much at the college, after all, there are 16 buildings on campus, but I have interacted with Steve enough to like him and admire him. And that was compounded when I heard he is a marathon runner.
I’ve been running for most of my adult life, but nothing close to a marathon. A few 10-milers here and there, but a marathon? 26-miles? Maybe over the course of a week. Maybe.
So I have great respect for marathon runners.
And Steve Housenick is not just any marathon runner. He is an outstanding marathon runner. Steve runs his 26 miles in just over three hours. For those who don’t know, that’s fast.
Well, just before graduation in late May, I read in the paper that Steve actually placed first in a marathon. That’s remarkable.
As faculty was lining up just before the start of the ceremony, I sought Steve out to congratulate him. Always gracious, he said it was just one of those days when running was easy. They are not all like that, he said.
That’s when I told him about “The Bob Cicon Rule.”
Bob was already an established runner when I first took it up in the mid ’70s. “Remember,” he said to me one day, “running is a sport. And like any sport you are going to have good days and bad. Don’t let the bad ones get you down. It’s just a bad day, nothing else.”
Bob’s advice was meant to keep me going when the going got rough. And I told Steve that. “But it applies to good days, too,” I said, and Steve knew what I was talking about.
It’s the same with any sport. Baseball players will tell you some days the ball seems as big as a grapefruit. You can’t help but smack it. Other days, it looks like a pea whizzing past as you swing and miss.
Golfers will say “I couldn’t make a putt today.” Sometimes those golfers are named Tiger Woods.
Basketball players talk about being in the zone one day, and thinking somebody put a lid on the basket the next.
I’ve shared “The Bob Cicon Rule” with every person I know who decides to become a runner. My daughter, in particular, adopted it. She always tells me how it helps her put bad days behind her.
Which causes me to think this rule applies to much more than just sports sports.
Like life, for example.
Most of the time a bad day is just a bad day. Don’t take it to heart.

Ed Ackerman