History of PTYP

What does PTYP mean?  Where does it come from?  The story may be simple but has been a powerful motivating agent that has guided our family for years.  Read the story below, written by Pops, and hopefully it can motivate you too!

What does it really mean – Push ‘Till You Puke or “PTYP”

Author:  Jeffrey F. Taylor

Nick was 14 years old.  His soccer team was playing in the North East Regional Championship tournament.  This was a highly competitive set of matches as the top youth teams in the North-East region of the United States collected and tested their skill and capabilities against each other.  This was a do or die situation.  You win, you move on.  You lose, you go home.  Nick was playing sweeper in the quarter final match, and he looked sluggish.  Some days you have everything going your way.  Other days, you feel like you are running up stream.  Nick struggled with an upstream battle that day.  He came off the pitch at half time, and looked over at me.  I yelled one thing to him and one thing only, “PUSH ‘TILL YOU PUKE.”  He smiled, and poked his head back into the team huddle.

The second half was a different game.  Nick looked energized.  His legs looked strong, and he had a look in his eyes that portrayed his new attitude.  There was a grit and strength present now that was not there in the first half.

When the match was over, and his team had completed celebrating their victory, I asked him what happened.  He looked at me with a smile and answered, “I did what you told me to do.  I pushed until I puked.”  He qualified his remarks, “I pushed, but came short of the puke.”

Through the rest of the tournament, the motto remained.  His support crew cheered from the sidelines and the chant was shortened to “PTYP.”

The phrase “PTYP” was born.

Our family did not just take vacations.  We had adventures.  Why sit on a beach, when you can climb a mountain?  Why relax in a five star hotel room, when you can camp under the stars and listen to nature deep in the woods?  Why take a casual walk, when you can start on one side of the Grand Canyon and walk all the way to the other side?  Vacations are not for relaxation.  They are for adventuring.  As a family, we bought into the PTYP motto.  Why take it easy when you can have a PTYP moment.

Many have asked what PTYP stands for.  There is not a clean answer to this question.  But the reality is that this is a philosophy as much as an action.  PTYP has become an attitude;  This is an attitude that drives action and accomplishment.  It is an attitude that takes you to places and teaches you lessons you would never learn any other way.

Let me explain. . .

I am an ultra-runner.  I run 50 to 100 mile foot races across mountains, or anywhere else I can find a rugged trail.  Yes, I have to answer — because everyone asks, in one day.  And, yes, without stopping.   When conversing about this hobby (or obsession), I am often asked, why?

The ultra-marathon is a journey.  A 100 mile race does not just involve stepping up to the starting line and watching the clock tick on until you reach the finish line.  The ultra-marathon starts many months before.  This is the fullness of the race.  The finish line becomes fulfilling after months of training, planning, and yes, dreaming on occasion.  Months of pushing, months of training, months of planning, and eventually somewhere in the late stages of an ultra-marathon there has been an occasional puking.  Your journey might not be to run 100 miles.  It may be to simply eat healthier and exercise more.  Whatever it is, its the PTYP mindset that can propel you to do things you never imagined possible.

What is does PTYP mean?  It actually has nothing to do with one’s ability to reach a state of regurgitation.  That is simply symbolic.  Something happens when you push yourself to do things you did not think you could do.  A transformation occurs when the body fails and the spirit soars.  A confidence surfaces when barriers are overcome and victory results at the hands of human will power.  This is where you learn what you are truly made of.  This is where you come face to face with our own abilities, or lack thereof.  When we reach a specific PTYP moment, we learn who we are and who we are not.   This is the realization and transformation that comes from attempting the impossible.