If at first you don’t succeed….

At my Weight Watchers meeting this past Saturday, the group leader made a comment that really resonated with me and it kept popping into my head throughout the weekend. Before I get into my thoughts on the comment I would first like to say that I really enjoyed this past meeting. The women who ran it did an excellent job; she was funny and it made the whole meeting have a lighter energy. Knowing the format of the meetings helped me to have a better experience this week.  

Now back to the comment that this post is based on. The group leader was talking about having people in your life that make you strive to be better, to try harder. She was saying that this woman she is friends with ran the NY marathon twice and has been trying to get her to do a 5K with her. She said because of this friend she is motivated to train for the 5K because she does not want to finish in last place.  

Now I am all for healthy competition and working towards personal goals and achievements, I think it is natural to want to do your best but what if your best is last place in a 5K, does that mean you shouldn’t do it? I feel like the stigma associated with last place makes people afraid to try and in turn it gives us a good excuse not to. This is very frustrating to me because I feel like maybe at a WW meeting we should be preaching about the importance of trying, not the fear of what is viewed as a failure.

Last September I participated in a 5K for the Wounded Warriors Foundation in which my company happened to be one of the sponsors. The event actually had five races; 10 mile individual, 10 mile relay, 20 mile individual and 20 mile relay in addition to the 5K and Paul and I both decided to do the 5K. He finished the race 4th overall, 3rd place in the men’s group. I finished 86th overall, last place. Was I embarrassed? No and why should I have been. I didn’t fail; I just finished in last place. Failure would have been not trying at all. Even though I was completely out of shape and knowing it would not be easy, I still tried and for me that was a victory.

I think that all of us could use a little more courage. We can’t let the fear of failure keep us from trying. If we do so we will miss out on some great life experiences and lose that potential for growth. I know that I have let my fear of failure stand in the way of trying something new but I have also used it in a difficult situation where I thought I wouldn’t be successful so I didn’t even bother to try. Today, I am a different person and although there will be times where I won’t meet my goals I am going to try any way. That is what success is all about.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky

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April 4, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Diet, Life.

6 Comments

  1. Latina Barbi replied:

    I remember trying to run a mile in high school…I think it took like 18 minutes. Then I started running when I lost 70 lbs and cried the first mile of the first half marathon.

    • Dacia replied:

      Thanks for sharing that! It must have felt great doing the half marathon. You are an inspiration to me and to all of your readers. I truly appreciate your comments and I love reading your blog! Thank you for helping me on my journey!

  2. Psynister replied:

    We all have our own method of motivation. For your leader she doesn’t like to be “the loser” coming in last, while for others simply participating at all is a victory in and of itself.

    The importance of having others there to help you and motivate you is always big, and often even more important than we might think until we take the time to look back and see just how much we were able to accomplish because of that support and encouragement from others.

    Don’t worry about finishing first, last, or in between. Find people who are willing to support you and cheer you on so that you don’t give up.

    We’re all weight watchers, striving to change our lives for the better, and staying on track is how we win.

    • Dacia replied:

      I agree completely! I wouldn’t be able to do everything I am doing now without the support of my friends, family and readers. I am fotunate to have a great support system in place helping me through my journey. Thank you for your comments and thanks for reading!

  3. Artswebshow replied:

    This reminds me of school when i lost a 1500m race.
    Many people were very supportive but i still hated myself for it

  4. yerttle replied:

    I’ve come in last place lots…

    I ran the Army 10miler at Bragg a few years ago. While running up Longstreet, a major thoroughfare which they’d closed for the race, some guys in a Mustang yelled, “Hurry the F*ck up, fat ass!” I was hobbling, my right ITB enraged that i’d tried to run so far. The ambulance was right behind me for the last two miles of the race. When I finished, I needed an IV. I was dead last. It took me 2 hours, 56 minutes. I got my t-shirt, though!

    Since then, I’ve finished several half-marathons and one full 26.2. I finished as they were closing up shop, but I finished and got my medals.

    You don’t have to be fast. You don’t have to be skinny. You just have to try and then you’ve won.

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