What if you never win a race?

What if you never win a race?

I am a runner, and I love to race. But I am never going to win. I am not fast enough, young enough, or sufficiently gifted — pick your reason. 

That does not mean running or racing is pointless if you never win. Instead, you can reframe how you win. You can set a personal best, have a great training block, or train while working through life’s stressors. These are all wins, maybe even more significant than a more professional runner with more time to dedicate to their craft. 

One day maybe you do win the race. I entered the Applefest 5K several years ago in Lebanon, Ohio. It was a small local race hosted by the YMCA during the Fall apple-picking season. When the gun fired, I started running, and, unbelievably, I was in the front group of runners, which was already an unusual experience. Around mile 2, I surged, and the pack drifted away. For the next mile, I ran solo behind the lead bicycle pacing the race. Me! Behind the lead pacer. When I broke the finish line, it was a surreal feeling. I was happy but almost felt guilty. I am not the guy who is supposed to win races. But I did and still cherish that medal. 

It was a small victory, in a small race, in a small town with a small medal. However, what it took for me to win that race was the real victory, which we can all win every time we show up and try.


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