Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
— Winston Churchill
It’s telling, don’t you think, that Winston Churchill wrote the words above — because in his times, the stakes were so high — failure could have led to the total loss of our freedom, and far worse.
It’s scary to try new things
Like running, for those of us who not only never ran, but actively did everything we could to avoid running. Toeing the line at our first race is so intimidating: what if they laugh at me? What if I’m last (hint: no one really cares if you’re last, and if you are — so what? You’re doing something that’s great for your mind and body and spirit).
A trail run. A Ragnar. A tough mudder. A marathon. An ultra. At some point, no doubt, any of those things struck fear in your heart. I know running a trail race was definitely out of my comfort zone.
And sometimes you’ll fail
Things don’t always go as planned. Maybe you didn’t meet your goals (or even come anywhere close). Maybe you never got to start. Maybe you weren’t able to finish.
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
— Henry Ford
And you will grow with every failure
Failure isn’t fun, of course, but there is no growth without failure. And failure can be a great teacher. I learned to carry at least some water with me from hot races that didn’t always have water (or cups) at aid stations.
I learned that it’s far better to seek help from professionals when there’s a niggle close to a race, rather than stop running and just pray it will somehow go away, after a disastrous, painful half. I learned that my body really likes flat and fast courses with my awesome PR at Panama City Beach Half (read about it here).
Don’t get me wrong — never go out there believing you will fail. Where the mind goes, the body follows. Just remember that if you do — and you will — it’s not the end of the world. You’ll be a better runner for it in the “long run”.
Talk to me:
What failures have you had?
What did you learn from them?