So, I’m writing this blog at the end of a racing/running season (for most). More specifically, the day after a very difficult race for many- the Richmond marathon, which had very difficult hot and humid race conditions (at a time when the race can often be in the 20’s and 30’s).
This is a short post on....what I could write .... ohhhh so much more... maybe a book.
Sometimes I think the day AFTER the disappointment is the hardest. Disappointments bring on so many other emotions: doubts, anger, frustration, shame, helplessness. But as always, of course, it is because of these disappointments that we have our greatest ability to learn and rise. That is so hard to taste the day after, though.
Let me backtrack first. I must be honest. I say and write these things because I know they are true. But I am also someone who has and is spending all of my adult years so far truly trying to legitimately absorb this in my heart. I have some major life failures that I spent far too long making a story about myself that these defined me. They internally did, to some extent. But I also worked a great deal to let them empower me in other ways. I don’t mean to sound like this is easy, but it is worth the attention and work.
This quote below from Maria Shriver touches me deeply.
There are many dreams that many of us will not achieve in our lifetime, but that doesn’t make us less than. It doesn’t make us a loser. We must widen our gaze and redefine what victory in defeat entails. We must pick words that inspire us forward. We must do the deep internal work of realizing that our worth comes not from a pundit or a snarky tweet or a moody boss or a parent trying to work out their own stuff in a messy way. It comes from God. It comes from within. It comes from us deciding we are worthy and enough. We can be victorious in the way we live our lives. ~Maria Shriver
Wow. So, here we are. The day after. Yea, it’s a failure of the goal. Let’s not say it isn’t.
But it is not a big picture failure… unless we fail to find the successes and lessons.
This is how we are empowered by these defeats.
So, what is the BIG PICTURE?
Were we BRAVE as anything to even THINK that we were worthy of our goals. YES.
Did you show up EVERY DAY, darkest mornings, cold dreary mornings, hot muggy vacation runs, weary Wednesday hill runs doing the work. Did you learn from the entirety of this season of work? And not just your body learning to push, but your mind learning what you were capable, growing in confidence, learning to feel intensities, to hold on, to push faster, to relax within the work, to soften to get stronger, to find your limits.
Did you learn that rest and recovery does help this all become sustainable and progressive, week by week?
Were there lessons on patience, risk taking, backing off, balancing? Were there lessons on swallowing frustration and keeping on? Lessons on doing new things, different ways, fueling, adjusting and adapting.
I could go on and on.
It is always worth it.
We are always growing.
Every race, we are smarter, stronger, better.
Every training session, we are smarter, stronger, better.
If we are open to see.
As in most things, it may take some time, but there is always victory available within defeat.