The real victory . . .

. . . was to keep on keeping on


Victory: achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties

Today’s word prompt got me to thinking: is the real victory the PR, or is it the journey to that PR?

If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards. — Paul Bryant

The Price IS high
I have written about this before — about whether to challenge yourself or play it safe. I think there’s a time for both. Yes, it’s easy to injure yourself by pushing too hard, but the rewards from challenging yourself are high, too.

I think the true victory comes in challenging yourself, but not at the cost of ignoring what your body is telling you. Become too afraid of failing and you become stuck. Become too fearless and victories can be snatched away right when they seem within your grasp.

Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.
— Jack Lemmon

I will admit that doing things that make me afraid can absolutely stop me — sometimes. And sometimes I’ve tried things, and failed, and realized that that was something I didn’t enjoy. Victory can also be enjoying what you do, not doing it because other people recommend it or enjoy it.

Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment; full effort is full victory.
— Mahatma Ghandi

Being satisfied with journey
Ah, now this one is a tough nut to crack. But it’s an important nut, too. Here’s the thing, though: if you’re not satisified with your journey, no PR is going to satisfy you for long. PRs are fleeting, and often there’s a let down afterwards  — those post-race blues — when  how you thought you would feel doesn’t match up with how you actually feel.

A “is that all there is?” feeling.

Some, no doubt, expected me to write about the victory of my latest PR (you can read about that here). Instead, I would argue that that PR was the product of (mostly) enjoying the journey. The aches, the fatigue, the bad races, the bad weather, the family stresses . . . no, I don’t really enjoy that. But they are all part of the journey, and it’s a journey that motivates me to lace up and get out there most days.

To do all the boring work: the foam rolling, the stretching, the prehab or rehab exercises — all the things that help me to continue on my running journey. To watch what I eat, most of the time, because it isn’t fun when your running clothes don’t fit or carrying around a bag of kitty litter (that would be the 40 lbs I’ve lost . . . several times).

The real victory was to keep on keeping on, knowing that someday, yes, it would pay off. Knowing that when it didn’t pay off, it was just one more rung in a ladder I need to climb to keep improving as a runner.

The real victory is the journey to the finish line, not the finish time.
— Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy


Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

What do you see as a victory?

What do you consider your latest victory?

Can you find joy in your journey?

19 thoughts on “The real victory . . .

  1. Great post!

    Congrats on the PR.

    I love your final line….that is perfect!

    I am struggling to find joy in my training journey right now. I am getting more and more lonely training by myself and not having someone to push me.

    My victory is everytime I complete a scheduled training activity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “… if you’re not satisified with your journey, no PR is going to satisfy you for long. PRs are fleeting, and often there’s a let down afterwards — those post-race blues — when how you thought you would feel doesn’t match up with how you actually feel.”

    Reading that is a POW moment. I try to “Live in the Moment,” which goes along with enjoying the journey. Thanks, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the biggest victory is being able to run after a serious injury and of course getting PRs in your 60s.

    I do bask a long time in my PR victories because I always feel like they may be the last. I am still savoring the one in October. LOL It felt amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t start running that long ago. Not seriously until 2010 and had serious injuries in 2011, 2012 & 2013. I can still PR because I’ve only had 3 good years of running. Being uninjured makes all the difference (even if I don’t seriously train.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. By the time I’m 60 I’ll have been running about 10 years (really, a bit longer). Although I would say I didn’t start taking it seriously until maybe 4 years ago.


  4. There are so many ways to consider victory… I do love a PR as much as the next person, but I think that the challenge and training up to an event is victory in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great thought on this post! I agree…the journey is key. An easy victory doesn’t mean much to me because there (usually) is nothing learned. I think overcoming challenges is where the victory happens….going through the doubt, the struggles, the setbacks…all make that finish line taste so sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely find joy in the journey! What I miss most about no longer running marathons are the 20-mile training runs gabbing with my friends and hubby the whole time, stopping at 7-Eleven afterward for chocolate milk, and taking a long and well-deserved Saturday afternoon nap!

    Thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

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