Success Is Not Just About Results
It’s not always about crossing the finish line, getting that personal best, or standing on the podium.
That is cool and all, but there's so much more to progress and success than the rack of medals on your wall. Please don't hate me for saying this: I'm a Libra and I really want you to like me, lol.
We can actually learn SO much from not making it to the finish line. Getting injured. Bonking hard in a race. From not performing our best in a race.
I was driven to write this based on many comments around 'only doing a 23km race'. Based on comments of 'I'm disappointed in my time'. Based on comments of 'that's a good time... for your first ultra'. Or 'oh, you've only done a half marathon, maybe next year you'll do a full marathon'.
We are doing pretty epic things here. No matter what distance or time. Goals around that are amazing; And I want to shed some light on the fact that progress and success comes in many forms.
It's interesting that our mind goes straight to reasoning why we didn't do more or do better. "I just couldn't get my nutrition right" or "this year was particularly stressful with work... kids... etc. etc."
Why don't we immediately go to "wow, I am so proud that I made it to that start line, got through as much of the race as I did, made it to the finish line.... despite all of the things that I had committed to this year."?
Measuring progress and success is easiest when we look at distances and times for races, but is that all that it is? If you are slower does that mean you haven't made progress?
I'd argue that there is progress in there somewhere, or a really cool lesson of some sort. Also, what are the feelings that come up when you don't do as well as the last time? Shame? Embarrassment? Judgement?
Additionally... success is not only on race day. What went well during training? What challenges did you face? What were you able to push through?
It's so easy to get wrapped up in the idea that every time should be your best or better than your last. That is a really amazing goal and one that can be measured so simply. Do we need to be devastated if our results are not as fast? Or if we decide to drop in distance?
Ultimately it depends what drives you and what your personal goals are.
Watch the Livestream:
My approach is multifaceted... I aspire to be faster for sure - I also aspire to find the joy in training and running and exploring above all else. The connection that I feel when I'm in the forest alone. The connections built when heading into the forest with friends. Those are intertwined for me at times because going fast is really fun to me. However I feel that if we only measure success and progress based on speed or distance then it is kind of pointless.