The Practice is the Performance
The way we think about performance is backwards. Going for an after work jog is tough, but millions of people do it every day and there's no sold-out arena of admiring fans applauding you when you return to your house dripping with sweat. Finishing a marathon is much tougher, but there are still hundreds-of-thousands of people who do this. If that's you, your friends and family might actually be waiting for you, you might get a little medal for your participation with the name and date of the event engraved on the back, but nobody payed you to run the race. Unless of course, you're this guy.
Dennis Kimetto is the world record holder for the fastest marathon time ever recorded in competition. To about 98% of spectators, Dennis' time of 2:02:57 is incomprehensible and Godlike. But for Dennis and the hundreds of other elite professional marathon runners, this performance is nothing but a combination of physique and difficult training. Nearly all of the work required to set the world record was done prior to the race; Dennis simply had to show up and run his hardest.
"Difficult" is a relative adjective. Running one five-minute mile might be impossible for most people, but for ultra-elite runners like Dennis, it's a warmup. The "hard part" of performing at any elite level is putting in the time to practice. Most people can learn to juggle, or solve a Rubik's cube, or better yet, juggle and solve a Rubik's cube simultaneously if they put their mind to it. And once you learn to perform that skill, your seemingly "impressive feat" to others, might feel like a cheap trick to you.
Generally, the audience only ever sees the final product of the practice. Nobody sees the 6:00AM training sessions, throwing up your breakfast from exhaustion, or your sprained ankles; that stuff is gross and boring. But every elite athlete knows that his or her performance is the result of ridiculous hours committed to practice (or lack there of). So, the next time you find yourself applauding somebody's performance, consider what you're actually clapping for.