The journey...

Life is in the journey, not the destination, so do what you can and take it one day at a time. Go slow, do it right, and make your changes permanent — then help out others who are where you were.

~Jillian Michaels

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Monday, August 1, 2011

It's better to "fail"

Let's start with a math 'outlook' equation:

Finishing Dead Last > Not Finishing > Not Starting at All

Warrior Dash KC - July 30, 2011
Sometimes it's REALLY easy to lose perspective and not see the reality in tough workouts, races and challenges.

This weekend, several friends and I completed an AWESOME obstacle course 5k, better known as Warrior Dash! A 5k can be tough enough, now add about 10 obstacles in the middle of it and there you have what we just tackled. I'm talking CRAZY steep hills, tires, hay, balancing wood beams, climbing, cargo nets, river running, fire, mud, mud and more mud!

I was with a diverse group of people from all different levels of athletic ability. For several, this was their first race EVER (crazy choice huh!). Others were runners, several were walkers and some don't really work out at all. We all had ONE common goal though, to finish!

Well, all of us finished except for one who had to be escorted off due to an injury. Personally, I call that a "Badge of Honor." I've had a couple conversations with her since and she seems to be a bit discouraged and frustrated with herself for not being able to finish. That breaks my heart FOR her, because her disappointment is stealing the joy that can be found in the fact that she even started the race!

Ya know, I found myself slightly frustrated in the fact that I may have technically "finished," but I was foolish for attempting it with a heel injury, almost no training and therefore I walked 3/4 of the course, skipped 1 1/2 obstacles and took about 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete this beast! That's not an official time that you exactly find yourself "proud" of or excited to share. I'm thankful for AWESOME friends who trudged through this 'muddy mayhem' with me though, because they continuously reminded me of how awesome it was that I was even out there doing it and that I at least did 1/2 of the obstacle that I backed out of (the other obstacle I would've more than likely got injured further if I attempted it).

Point being...instead of my friend dwelling on "not finishing," or me bumming over "not finishing well," we need a new perspective. I could say I failed since I skipped some of the obstacles, but sometimes strength is knowing your limits too. Both of us are WARRIORS for even starting, that says we believed in ourselves! The fact that I wasn't willing to give up and was determined to finish is MIND over MATTER (and believe me, after slipping & falling about 5 times on the course and being in SEVERE PAIN, I wanted to take a seat on the side of the road and pass out in the piping hot sun). Not everything in life is about how well you finish, but the fact that you even started!

All of this reminded me of something my girl Jillian Michael's says, "If you aren't failing, you aren't trying hard enough." In this misunderstood world of exercise, FAILING at something that you made the effort to TRY can be success!!! Stop the comparisions. Forget the haters. Who cares about the skeptics who say if you can't do "this" in "this," that you're not good long as YOU pushed to your personal best, then you've won! Not everyone can "win" the race, but life is much more than coming in first place.

If you've ever started a race and seemingly "failed," whether that be because you were injured and had to quit, you were escorted off because of time or you finished with what you consider to be a "bad time," in my opinion YOU are strong because you went out and did it!