Sunday, July 9, 2017

Making Success Out of Your Failures (non successes?)

First, a little triathlon humor.


What are you doing?

Just wondering, who's the best?

We all fail at one point or another.  We almost all DNF at one point or another.  We almost all DNF at something really important at one point or another.  Put me right in the center of that group as well.  What, my DNF?  When was it?  The down-the-street 5K?  Nope.  The local big deal Ten miler?  Nope.  I "did not finish" a little event they have every April in Massachusetts known as the Boston Marathon.

It was hot that day along the Hopkinton to Boston 26.2 mile course, record hot weather type thing, but I've been racing for a lot of years and should have known better.  But I didn't.  I got to about 20 miles going up famed Heartbreak Hill when I was hit by a train.  The train known as massive dehydration.  It was sit down or fall down time.  And here's where I blew it. 

Instead just sitting down, resting, slowly sipping as much water or Gatorade as it took, and then proceeding down Boylston Street to my triumphant finish, I saw the bus which could take me to the finish with the other soon to be DNFers, parked at this particular aid station. I'm certain now that it's presence was complete coincidence.  So I put my brain in the off position, and got on the bus.  That was fifteen years ago.  How many times do think I've regretted that decision since?

BUT.  Fast forward to 2005 and I'm on the bike on the Big Island of Hawaii in the Ironman World Championship.  It's hot there too, right.  So around the 90 mile mark of the bike, despite best efforts to stay up with my hydration plan, my stomach just didn't want any more. I see you've been there.  I started to get dizzy.  Then really dizzy.  Just like Boston years earlier, it was get off the bike or fall off time.  But here's where the story changes.  Having screwed up Boston, I stumbled into the aid station where a very kind nurse named Alice was positioned.  We sat, and sipped, and talked, and sipped, and felt better, and sipped, until the tank was full again.  I gave her big hug, got back on the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway and finished the bike.  OK, so it was a 7:37.  And my run sucked too at 6 hours.  But you know what?  My big shiny finisher's medal from Hawaii 2005 looks right good  on the wall over there.

The point of all this is that we all have bad days, but that some day, maybe not for many years, that bad day will fuel you to great day.  A really great day!

Oh, and Alice?  I bought her a dozen roses, drove up to the Kona hospital operating room, waited for her to finish her work, and gave them to her.  Nice lady.

Local Swimmers have a good day at the races!

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