The Prize? Cash Only Breakfast

There’s a place called Pipes Cafe in a small surfing neighborhood in Encinitas, CA. Cardiff by the Sea is known for its mellow vibes and serene coastline. When I step foot into Pipes I feel a timeless sense of accomplishment. 

For the early part of the 2000s, the peace in Cardiff was disturbed by thirty young ballplayers grueling through a week of trials and tests. The first week in January each year was “hell week” for the University of San Diego Baseball program. Five days of sleep deprivation, cold water immersion, and competitive events would  emanate from the beachside campsite where we’d sleep. We were split into two teams and a running “scoreboard” of the week’s challenges determined which team would carry four tires with them at all times as “motivation” (punishment). It always rained and we always got sick. Yes, it was always perfectly designed shared suffering, but the final event of the week always ended with us at Pipes Cafe. 

FACT: If you were eating breakfast at Pipes, you had undoubtedly survived another year of hell week. I’m confident that few meals taste sweeter. 

Today every visit down to San Diego and the obligatory breakfast stop at this cash only joint reminds me of the power of celebration and tradition. There’s a good chance if you’re reading this that you aren’t shying away from hard work and challenging stretch goals. There could be a chance, though, that you aren’t taking the time to commemorate these efforts. One of the best ways to continue to nurture yourself and promote continued peak performances is to build tradition around how you mark the completion of these challenging bouts. 

Commend yourself when it’s due. Build a tradition into your life with how you celebrate remarkable efforts. Ideally, you’ll find yourself with a tradition you’d fight to uphold and ultimately more success. 

Find your Pipes Cafe. Visit often. 


Logan Gelbrich



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