ThoughtBox

Loser

Hello my strong friends~

Were you an athlete as a kid?

While I was growing up I never participated in any sports except for dreaded P.E. class, where I got a D in 8th grade. My hobby was reading, and I was a great babysitter.

I was in my late 20s when I discovered tennis, skiing, and running, and I loved riding my bike, but I never thought of myself as competitive, or even as an athlete.

I won a few tennis tournaments, then the pressure increased and I stopped competing. I participated in running races for years, then I hit a sub 7 minute mile once. I kept running, but stopped competing. I raced my bike for a while, and got pretty good at it, then checked racing off the list. Was there something preventing me from competing?

I think it was a type of perfectionism. but not about trying to be perfect. I became proficient, then moved on before taking the chance of not winning. I’m ok with that. So is winning important to me now? Sometimes it is. But I know now that losing is important. We need to incorporate losing (or not winning) in the path to growth.

 

Response to winning and losing

 

But then…I competed in a powerlifting competition in 2019. It was a total surprise that I won, but – will I compete again and take the chance of losing? I don’t know. I might just check that off the list. (It was so scary!) For now it’s not about winning.

I’m training for strength, endurance, and the ability to generate power to keep moving for a lifetime, and I am bringing that to my personal training clients, whether they’re looking to win a competition, or have fun with kids and grandkids.

There was a lot of losing and winning in this year’s Olympics. We saw that it’s hard for every athlete. In this NPR podcast and article Losing can be transformative — if you do it right, Sam Weinman, sports journalist says “The great losers are the people who are able to recognize that a loss is just one step in a process. But it doesn’t need to be the last step.”

I still go back to 8th grade gym class, where it was drilled into us that it was all about winning, and zero about how losing leads to growth.

What does winning and losing mean to you? How does losing factor into your journey?

Onward.

~Polli

 

 

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