Earlier this week, I was asked the common question about where I place in races.
I really hate that question, probably because I never place anywhere worth mentioning. This question is always asked by people whose idea of being active in sports involves sitting on the couch watching sports on TV with one hand in the Cheetos bag while sucking that orange fake cheese stuff off the fingers of their other hand.
The answer I always give is I place in the middle, which isn’t entirely true. I tend to place in the back of the middle, or the front of the back (depending on what I think sounds better at the time) but that is just too hard to explain to someone who is thoroughly convinced that his niece did Ironman Maine.
Yeah, I know. There is no Ironman Maine. You try to explain it to him. I couldn’t.
I always get the nod as if that is respectful enough, to finish in the middle, and the conversation generally moves on. This is fine for me because like I said – I really hate talking about where I place – it is irrelevant to me.
My placement would probably change if I ate less cupcakes, but I digress.
Anyway after my usual “I finish in the middle” answer, I was expecting the conversation to move on but instead I got:
“So, you don’t train to win?”
I don’t like that question.
I mean, I don’t train to lose.
I train so I can be the best I can be on race day, I train so I can reach my goals. Once those goals are reached, I set them higher – whether it is a longer race or to do the same distance at a faster time. Or to do something completely different, who knows? This works for me and feeds my fire to continually better myself and my performance.
But don’t tell me I don’t train to win. I mean, I do not fool myself into thinking I am going to bust out a sub-10 hour Ironman required to win in a month, that is ridiculous. (My plan is to bust out a sub 17 hr Ironman, in case you were wondering.)
I think anyone who faces something that scares them, something that they were not sure they could do, that is chock-full of obstacles – but then they decided to go for it anyway – is a winner. It doesn’t matter to me if it is a 5k or an Ironman and it doesn’t matter if they are the first or last one across that line. They toed up to the line and that takes courage (thank you John Bingham) and to me it doesn’t matter where they (or I) place.