Success is an Event
Zig Ziglar wisely said, "Failure is an event, not a person." I'd add that success is similar.
It is commonly said that 'someone is successful.' But I don't think that is accurate. More appropriate is it to say, 'she is enjoying/having success right now.'
I've crossed paths with a lot of running champions over the years. Having won nothing of merit myself, but an inquisitive type, I've looked for common patterns among those winners. They shared two things, a few successfully run races in high-pressure environments, and a laundry list of unsuccessful results. But they keep showing up. Resiliency truly is a precursor characteristic to winning.
While the immature person trusts only what is proven, the enlightened individual's trust lies in faith. It takes a lot for a person to be soundly beaten, run a poor time, or go through a doldrum of disappointing performances and stay the course, continue to show up, and keep giving their best effort. To me, that is the mark of a person who in on the path towards success.
Running favors the introverts, and for good reason. Extroverts think outwardly and look on the faces of others to judge themselves while the introvert thinks inward and looks in the mirror at their judge. The runners who enjoy the most success, I've found, compete to impress themselves. Smartly, they're aware that the fancy of others is fickle and is quickly earned but even more swiftly lost.
Olympic marathon meadlist Charlie Spedding reminds,
Making the most of who you are is a triumph of Olympic proportions that is available to everyone who tries.
We can't all win, but we can all act like winners. Competitive running is a vehicle which can provide a canvas to explore this, if you let it.
But racing is rife with uncertainty as the outcome is never predetermined, instead created by the actions of the performers on the day. This can be a heavy burden for many athletes to bear and can cause some a crippling fog of pressure. As a coach, I try to foster a space for an inward facing, self-realization and transformational winning attitude. In an effort to counter the athlete's internal alchemy of uncertainty and strain, I remind them that I unconditionally accept them — no matter the outcome race day. When you know someone has your back, through thick and thin, it affords a stable platform from which to perform.
Nowadays, I do not get frustrated or sour when an athlete has a poor showing, I put a comforting hand on their back, or give them a hug, and say, "let's figure this out. You're capable of so much more, I know it."
After all, failure is a not a person, and like success, is only an event.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm