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Never Enough?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I've blogged about one of my heroes before, Rebecca. Here she is at a recent triathlon, taking second place. She's the one in green on the right. She lost 90 pounds about 10 years ago. She is incredibly fit. She has sponsors and I would call her a professional athlete.

Yet, she isn't savoring her second place victory. This is what she wrote on FB:

"76 seconds separated me from that top spot this past weekend...

This was a tough one to swallow. Tough because I thought I had taken 1st. I was the first female across the finish line, and broke the tape. But I was beat out after that by another great female athlete who started in the wave behind me.
Throughout the race I kept saying "Don't give an inch just keep pushing", but on the run I gave an inch, well 76 seconds to be exact. I keep mulling things over in my head trying to process everything and I keep coming back to one question. Why?
Why didn't I push harder? Why when things got a little hard in this race, did I back off?....
I know I can do better. I know how bad I want this. Now I just need to get my body and mind on the same page so that on race day, when things get dark, I am prepared to fight through."

Her anguish touches me tremendously. I wish she could know how incredible she is. This athletic business is a tough one. Can only the winner be happy? Perhaps her anguish will drive her to do even better next time. I hope so.

But I hope all of us: you, me, her, everyone, could delight in what we can do, and in what we do accomplish, and who we are.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for bringing up a very powerful message! I once was lamenting the fact that I can't do what I used to be able to do. The person I was talking to told me to close my eyes and mentally look at my wonderful body - a magnificent machine. We went through this visual exercise and it made me realize what a gift I've been given. I contemplated all of the complex things my body does, at the same time, all day everyday. It is simply amazing and put things into perspective.
    362 days ago
  • NANCY-
    I have never really liked competitions, A job well done is a job well done, Doing your best is what matters.
    365 days ago
    I'm still at a point where just finishing a walking 5 K is a victory. I can imagine her feeling about 76 seconds. The first FREEP 5k my sister and I did together, we were beaten by 3 seconds by an 83 years. The second year our goal was to beat her time, only to learn she didn't walk that year, and we wondered if she had died.

    Now, we just try to beat our last year's time.

    Thanks for sharing this. It puts things in perspective.
    365 days ago
    Oh, I am so sorry for her loss. That must have been hard to swallow.
    365 days ago
    I guess it's all about mindset! If *I* were able to accomplish that it would be a hallelujah moment. But I guess as a professional athlete the perspective is different.
    365 days ago
    Wow! Can feel her pain, to lose by only 76 seconds, that is indeed a very bitter pill to swallow. I can see not celebrating her accomplishment in being second, especially the disappointment of breaking the tape first and then finding out later it was premature. Lots of angst. Hopefully, after mulling it over for a while she will come to be proud of how well she did (really, nothing much separated her from the winner, they were equals for all intents and purposes -the other women was lucky to get over first.)
    You sure can be proud of all you have accomplished. Maybe not the fasted, but one of the top ones..
    365 days ago
    I've read previously about Olympic athletes that coming in second is way worse than coming in third -- the thirds are grateful to make the podium, the seconds are so sad that they didn't come in first!!

    I suppose each of us has an area of our lives where what would look "good enough" to anyone else . . . just doesn't feel good enough to US!!
    365 days ago
    Sounds like the normal ruminations of a competitor to me. An evaluation of the event and one's effort. Clearly, she thinks she could have pushed more and is wondering why she didn't.

    Well, pushing can and often does take competitors to the edge. Sometimes they push through and sometimes that push is the push over the edge that results in a DNF.

    Competitive athletics is tough.
    366 days ago
    Trying to give up that competitive mind set. It's not easy once you've got the podium bug... you know this, too!
    366 days ago
    I'm reading a book called "Endure" by Alex Hutchinson. (He writes the Sweat Science blog, if you've ever seen it.) The book covers the mind/body connection and what allows athletes to break through barriers, what holds them back, what does science have to say about all this. Very interesting.
    366 days ago
  • LEATON1900
    Thanks for sharing this. I think for me, anytime I don't do as well as I had wanted, I wonder what I could have done more. For her, it's probably the same. She's looking for the top spot on the podium, and when you don't get it, you always wonder what could I have done different. However, sometimes at the end of the day, you realize that you had done everything you could have done.
    366 days ago
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