Beyond Winning

March 29, 2015
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“Winning isn’t everything: it’s the only thing” unknown

“Second place is first loser” unknown

“In this life, the more you win, the higher you go” Daniel Nayeri

Do you ever wonder how many thoughts on winning flood our brains every day?   As we swim, bike, run, race, and soldier on in our triathlon endeavors, we logically hunger for faster, better, higher, and  more, more, more!!!  It’s motivation.  It’s what supports coaches.  It’s what expands the robust economy of multisport including races, gear, more races, better gear, bigger races ,and the newest, latest and greatest gear.   “Coach, I won my age group!” is music to all coaches’ ears, right?

Or consider this: 

At mile 25 of the  2015 Tobacco Road marathon, a spectating Mom repeated over over to her daughter for all to hear” “Look, sweetie,  they are all winners!  He’s a winner.  She’s a winner.  Look at them all go!  Yeah!! Yeah!  Go,runners go!” (insert sarcastic grin here)

We live in a day and age where more people than ever participate in marathons but log the slowest average times in the history of the amateur marathon.

We live in a world of “just do it” where we encourage everyone to try, give weighty medals to all finishers, and every step we take in a day is measured by our magnificent “Fit Bits” and devices that praise us for every movement or twitch of our eyelids.

And so , dear reader, how to do define winning, losing, and all that lies in between??  It’s a mess of head noise, contradictions, and too many quotes to list here…

Maybe this is a better approach:    as you saunter home with your chest puffed up and your winner’s medal heavy on your neck, put away the medal and have a talk with yourself.   Think hard about the others you raced with and how they acted, the effort they put forth, and the battles they fought to get to the start line.   For some, a win is getting up off the couch;  it’s just outright true.

Step down from your podium after you celebrate your win on race day and get back on the course to find those behind you.  Bring them up to the front.  Go find that spectating Mom and join her chorus, even if it at first it feels ridiculous.  Take your Elite/All American/All WTC  World/State Champion/National  Champion/Team USA/Kona Finisher/Ironman-tatooed  self for a reality check and consider all the other winners on the course.   Get over your win and yourself: Then you become the winner.


“Sometimes the real winners aren’t those on the podium” Stacey Richardson



Stacey is a former professional triathlete turned full-time elite coach. Certifications include USAT Level I and II. USA Cycling Elite Coach, Levels 1, 2, and 3. USA Track and Field Level I. TRX Instructor Certification.

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