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You not going to win every time you race

20 January 2011 No Comment

I am suprised at times when athletes almost appologise in their weekly feedback when a time trial or a race was not a PB. It’s impossible to get a PB every time that you train or compete. A boxer never wins every bout. A football team never win every game they play. For them losing is part of the game.

As long as you win more often than you lose, you’re moving ahead, you’re winning. Life is like that, losing is part of the game. Be ready for an occasional loss, handle it and get back into the game.

In a race the odd thing is going to go wrong. Resilient athletes handle these setbacks and do the best they can with what they have left. Those who lack that resilience allow the situation to overwelm them.

Resilience is a trainable quality. Especially if you develop the ability to recognise situations as simply, obstacles to go over, around or under on your way to your goal. We hear of people whose glass is always half empty, and others whose glass is half full. It’s just a matter of perspective. 

In my own last three months. I raced Hawaii for the thirteenth time. I placed eighth in my category. I was suprised by how many people spoke to me really carefully, expecting me to be dissapointed. As if I had failed. I hadn’t failed.

Every year when I train for Hawaii, I train to win my category. I do everything I can to maximise my chances of a win. In October when I raced in Kona. I had a good race, a perfectly executed race. I did all I could do on the day, only seven men did better. I couldn’t stop them doing what they did, but I did all I could with the body I have. I really had a great day, but seven men had a little better one.

In early November my car was involved in a “no fault of our own” accident. It was a write off. My mate Neal was driving, fortunately he was not hurt. That car had lots of good miles left in it. But no-one was hurt. it was a bit inconvenient but we managed.

In December my old dog Missy died. She was just worn out. She was seventeen years old and had had a great life. It was sad to lose an old friend who’d shared my life since she was a little pup. It was a bit tough for our other dog Molly, they were such good mates, but she’s adjusted OK. She doesn’t know that we have a new “Smithfield Cattle Dog” pup ordered (she arrives in two weeks)

On New Years eve my camera died, just stopped working. it’s only six months old. What next? When we moved house in November the useless internet providers couldn’t get their act together and we were without an internet service for five weeks. It’s a bit hard to coach on-line with no internet connection, but I managed through the help of friends.

In December my computer died, just refused to open. All my photos and lots of athlete records are locked inside it.  I’m typing this on a new lap top which I bought yesterday. I intended to buy one last week but the store I was going to was flooded. The floods.

My retirement fund is real estate investments. Last week two of those houses were flooded. One had two feet of water through it damaging carpets, dishwasher, electrical switchboard and oven. It’s a highset house, the water actually went over the carport in the front yard. The other one had six foot of water go through the downstairs office and bedroom, damaging walls, carpets, doors and all the electrical system.

The work done in raising furniture to higher levels in our houses and several friends houses, then the clean up work has left us exhausted. I feel as though I’ve done two Ironman races over the last week. I am smashed. I have decided to not push on to NZIM, but I’ve been told the organisors will transfer race entries from 2011 to 2012, for Brisbane athletes affected by the flood. That’s good of them.

Investors are no different to athletes when it comes to winning and losing. Losing is a very real part of the game. You avoid it as much as you can, but it’s there, it’s real, its part of the game. Our values have taken a dive over the past week, but the market will recover. Our other investments will have gone up in value, being flood free. As long as we win more often than we lose, we’re still in the game. 

I sometimes wonder, “what’s the lesson to be learned here?” I guess it’s the lesson of resilience. I thought I’d learned that years ago?

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