Redefining success

Back in January, I laid out some goals for myself. As I approach a key milestone, I find myself staring at success–as it taunts me from just beyond my grasp.

As promised, I’m going to run the Indy Mini again this year, but I’m pretty certain I won’t improve my time. I didn’t follow my training regimen, I’m miles short of what I need to have on the soles of my shoes, and I haven’t done a lick of speed work. (Okay, I probably wouldn’t have done any speed work anyway, but still.)

My inclination whenever I see failure looming is to walk away from the project. If I’m not going to accomplish it, I should move on to something I can. I should stop wasting time on what I know will be an undesirable outcome and focus my efforts in areas where I can succeed. At least, that’s what my competitive self says, the same self who views life as a series of destinations, not a journey.

This time, I’m choosing to resist that self. I’m going to see this thing through no matter what the outcome. I know I can run the race; it just won’t be at the pace I had hoped. Is that failure? I’m trying to tell myself it’s not. I would tell anyone else that sticking it out no matter what is its own victory. Perseverance and tenaciousness mean as much as process improvement. Quitting–or in this case, not participating–means forgoing all the lessons to be learned along the way.

When I first ran the Mini, I didn’t do it for a time goal. I did it because I thought the energy surrounding the event was so powerful that I just had to be part of it. The energy hasn’t changed, only my perspective. Maybe it’s time to change it again and just enjoy the day.

Besides, there’s always next year.

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