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.