Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's never about winning, it's all about the journey

I've often contemplated how hard the pros must have it.  Trying to win every time out.  So, you win some races.  Maybe you even win Hawaii six times.  What then?  At some point, you can't win.  It's an impossible task to set a goal of always winning.  Life is similar.  I know people who always have to win.  Some of these people are very sucessful (in other people's eyes, of course).  So, they win.  What then?  They have to win again, and again. 

I don't care whether it's triathlon, a game of basketball, chess, business, or life.  If you make it all about winning, you will ultimately lose.  If you make it about the journey, you can always win.  We learn something on every journey that we take.  I've had races where my times aren't what I wanted, but I learned something about myself.  I love Ironman St. George because of the beautiful surroundings.  At the end of the day, the racing will take care of itself. 

My journey to St. George this time around has been unique and different from the last two years.  My life is different, as it always is.  My training is different, as it sometimes is.  I've continued to train well, but I've had my bumps on the road.  A torn quadriceps muscle at the end of December, my left achilles continues to nag at me, but hasn't slowed me down yet.  The body responds, sends messages, sometimes I listen, sometimes I don't.  Most days I wake up looking forward to the next workout.  Yesterday, I woke up looking forward to my workouts, but recognizing that I wanted today off from training.  So, with the blessing of my coach, that's what I did.  Mentally, I know I'll be raring to go tomorrow and especially this weekend, which will be full of workouts!  Six weeks and two days to go to St. George.  Really, it's three weeks and two days to beginning my taper.  Which means, only three weeks of "serious" training left. 

We never really "win" in life, we just continue our journey.


Moonracer said...

so true Mike -- winning is NOT everything (but it does feel nice when we do). writing is a great way to keep track of the journey and kudos to your dad for inspiring you to write. nancy

Marcus said...

Without trying to overthink this, I have mixed feelings on this post.

I think it's human nature to compete - to want to win. Maybe not even *human* nature specifically, the Alpha Male (of whatever species) gets the best mate, food, etc.

If mankind didn't naturally want to compete, I have a feeling we'd still be living in caves (for better or worse). Competition (specifically the desire to win) fuels innovation in a lot of ways.

That being said, I think it's important to smell the (proverbial) roses - enjoy the journey, as you say.

Wassdoc said...

Nancy-it is nice when we win! I've had the good fortune to win my age group a few times, and it does feel good.
Marcus-I love to compete! I just feel that I should give it my best, and not judge myself on whether I win or not. Again, trust me, I love to compete.