Dusting Myself Off – Failing Is Not The Same As Being A Failure
After racing Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens for 5hrs34Min51Sec I was disqualified.
I was not fast enough.
I never gave up. I never thought about giving up. I gave it my all. There are dedicated cut-off times throughout every Ironman race. I missed a cut-off by 3mins. (Yeah. Ouch.)
While this particular expedition definitely did not end the way I had planned, the journey is far from over. What is most important to me is to remember the process of this undertaking, to remember the utter honesty the training required – No, demanded. The openness and vulnerability, without any excuses, required to come this far is something no one can take away from me. Ever. This race was always about competing against the gremlins and dark side of myself. And the only way that could ever be achieved, beating the gremlins and the dark side, was (and is) with stark honesty.
Being honest with myself has been hard. Tough. Not easy. Being honest with myself has been a daily practice right along side all the physical Ironman training. The race was two weeks ago today, two weeks ago I called myself a “failure”. Today, my “failure” is my greatest gift. For it was not a failure – Getting disqualified at Lake Stevens Ironman70.3 was just what happened that day.
I took a week off after the race and slowly road-tripped down the coast of Washington State, Oregon, and Northern California where I had lots of time to reflect on my “fail”. At some point I knew I could continue calling myself a “failure” and feeling sorry for myself or I could friggin’ stand-up, dust myself off, and take a long hard honest look at what I came away with…
The challenge I alone put to myself was definitely physically daunting but it was the mental challenge that was my biggest nemesis. Breaking through my mental barriers was my biggest challenge, it was where I learned most about myself. This is where fear and courage came into play. And lawdy I learned I have SO MANY fears, so many. And so many insecurities. I feel fear most of the time. And I am insecure even more so.
“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” ~ Eloise Ristad
Part of the journey and the exercise is managing the fear.
Do not ever let the fear of failure stop you. Ever.
On the other side of fear is courage.
There will always be road blocks and curve balls, and challenges to goals one sets.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” ~Albert Einstein.
I need goals. I need challenges. I need truth. With every challenge I put to myself I learned more about myself, a sort of transformation occurred at every step, where I grew into a happier, more peaceful, stronger, selfless, no bullshit-abiding version of myself. (No bullshit-abiding mostly of my own.) A version of myself where I could be gentle with myself, where I could forgive myself for not being fast enough.
We will ALWAYS have fails, but we will also have wins. And I will keep moving for I believe in movement, most especially the kind where you get up off the ground and dust yourself off and begin again. For life is like that. Some days suck and some days are full of vitality. Keep moving, the pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. Do not fear the change, do not fear failure, challenge yourself and dig deep.
And I will always, ALWAYS be beyond grateful for having the best friggin’ humans in my life.. No matter my “fail” I know I can count of these guys to make me laugh and pee my pants (literally) all the while showing me the compassion I am not able to show myself.
Show up. Be honest. Be yourself. Show up. Forgive yourself. Do it again. And do it better. And then do more. Show up. Dust yourself off. Push harder. Fight the fear. Believe. Believe in yourself. Take strength from your team. Begin again. Laugh. Work harder. Be okay with change. Move. Just friggin move. Show up. And do it again.