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.
How inspirational, Tahira! Good for you! You worked really hard and you learned so much about yourself. What could be better?
Thank you, Cathy. It truly has been an amazing experience. Thanks for coming along 🙂
I don’t think you failed at all! Sounds like it was a wonderful journey for you. And isn’t that what racing is all about? I am so proud of you for going for it! Will you do it again?
Thank you for ALWAYS giving your support so freely and easily, my friend.
And lawdy girl, don’t be asking me those kinds of questions! 😉
You are such an inspiration for life! And not just because you look friggin amazing in a wet suit…I love you and I love your attitude!
I should write a book titled The Wetsuit Chronicles! And you should be my editor!
Thank you. Just. Well. Thank you for always being there.
Ironman Supergirl! You should be nothing but proud of yourself Tahira, not many people have the strength and courage to challenge their mental and physical boundaries., and you’ just showed everyone the sky is the limit. I’m so proud of you!
Thank you, Maco. Indeed, the sky is the limit. Strength and courage are not come by easily, thank you for always being willing to lend me some of yours. Xoxo
Tahira, you had the courage to begin a journey MOST of us would never even consider! I am in awe of you! Finish or not, your journey has been inspirational to me. You are amazing!!!
Thank you, Kathy. For all your support and for sticking with me through the whole journey. It’s beyond appreciated.
You my dear, are so powerfully inspiring, that I’m going to ” move. Just friggin move. Show up and do it again. ” Love you Tida!
Oh Nunu, love you too. Thank you for always lifting me up. No matter what.
Now go MOVE, dammit!
Great post with inspiring words! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Amy. Your support is always so appreciated! 🙂
Happy to see you are back! 🙂
Tahira you were one of my inspirations to start doing Tris, now you’re my inspiration to keep going. Also that bike pic belongs on a vision board. You go girl!
Girl. Stop that. You just made me all weepy!
And you know what, that bike pic is kinda cool, hah?
Miss you! And I am going, I am definitely not “out”. So Girl, YOU GO TOO!
What a way – excellent… 🙂
Thank you, friend! 🙂
Love the pictures, Tahira, and your words of wisdom. What an inspiration you are. I’m in Prague right now and just checked my in box. Am so glad you posted this. 😊
Prague! One of my favorite European cities! It’s right up there with Edinburgh and Paris. I can’t wait for you to post about it. Thank you so much, Lynne. For taking the time out of your busy travel to comment, my support-system here has never EVER let me down. Thank you ❤
You won! Just getting over some of your fears, insecurity are enough rewards. You can try again next time, and the result might even surprise you. Don’t give up!
Thank you so much, Bebs! You are absolutely 100% correct, sometimes, we all need a reminder though. The encouragement and support from you guys truly makes me beyond grateful.
So awesome, so inspirational! And I agree with you — showing up is SO important in everything we do and plan to do. Thanks for sharing your beautiful and honest thoughts.
And thank you, Kelly. I never surprises me to see how YOU GUYS show up with your light and your support, sometimes it’s all one needs to pick themselves up and dust themselves off 🙂 Truly. Just thank you.
You are a winner at so many levels, Tahira! Your journey has been so inspiring to me, and all of us. I was thinking of you that day driving home from a trip north…and saying to myself that whatever happens, you have been amazing! So much wisdom in your post. You go girl ❤
Thank you, Tiny. I am humbled beyond words by all the love and encouragement here. I think I even felt your thoughts the day of the race. Sometimes I feel this has been a group effort. The support one feels and gets on this sort of endeavor directly correlates with ones success – I may not have crossed the finish line (yet) but I am so successful in so many others ways by having you guys in my life. ❤
One day we’ll all stand in line – physical or virtual – to celebrate when you cross the finish line. Much love, Tiny
As many before me have said, you. are. inspiring! This is so on-point, Tahira! What a spectacular realization for you to share – I am thankful to you for the reminder and so buoyed by your continuing story 🙂
Thank you. Just thank you, Alex. Having friends both near and far, and having you guys cheer me on even from a distance is the number one reason I keep blogging and sharing, and one of the main reasons I decided to ‘dust myself off’. This is just the beginning. 🙂 xo
Oh, Tahira! You look so strong and proud. As you should be. We look at things all wrong sometimes, thinking that the result is more important than the journey, when our spirit knows that it’s all about the wisdom we gain. Girl, you have gained sooo much wisdom ❤️
You are so right, Sara. It’s always been about the journey, hasn’t it. Thank you, my friend ❤
Girl you got this!! And I love your words of wisdom and encouragement…whether it’s for the Ironman or life in general.
Thank you, Kato. For ALWAYS being there ❤
Brilliant Tahira!!! You are so wise. I am sitting in a car dealership with tears rolling down my face as I read your blog. Thank you for sharing. I will be by more often!!!
Oh Robin, you’re making me all teary! Thank you, my friend. I miss our pow-wows. And I look forward to having you come around as often as you please! ❤
How i admire you, Tahira!
Thank you so much, Leya. It’s much appreciated.
Congratulations a truly magnificent personal success as a non swimmer I completed a standard tri-Athlon by skulling in a pool so I am in awe of you effort
Scott, it was an experience like no other. But mostly what was and is so amazing is the support before, during, and after. Thank you so much.