Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Do you fear Failure?

One of my coaches asked us the question - Do you fear Failure? It is an interesting question - he said that a lot could be learned by our responses as to how we train and compete.

My initial gut response - was ahhhhh - YEP. But then I thought about it some more. I guess it depends on what your definition of failure is. Yes in some ways I am afraid of failure and honestly I don't think that is always a bad thing. I think you have to look at the situation or the event. Bungee jumping for example - yep if the cord fails I am afraid of that. Sky diving - yep fear of failing at that because probably means death..... However I am not so afraid of failure as to not try something for me that would be sad - think of all the things you would never try. Someone close to me wanted to change careers - they were extremely unhappy and talked incessantly about how unhappy they were and how they wanted to change careers - after listening to this for an extremely long time I finally said why don't you just do it and they were like but what if I fail and my response was but what if you succeed? Thankfully they finally took the leap and changed careers and are so much happier but I think of all the years they wasted because they were afraid of failure. Fear of failure can be bad in that it may stop you from following a dream but it can also be healthy in that it motivates you to work or train harder to succeed so you don't fail. To me that is healthy.

I guess in my mind - and I said this to coach - you can't fail if you never try or better yet you can never succeed if you never try. And well to be honest most of the time it never occurs to me that I can't do something. Usually by the time I realize I might be in over my head I am, well, in over my head and I just find a way to succeed because I don't want to fail. But I don't think that is a fear of failure it is a dislike of it. And that dislike motivates me to find ways to succeed - even if that means just finishing. But this applies to all areas of my life - I would not be in the career I was in if I was not afraid of failure - that fear goaded me to buckle down and study harder and prove everyone else wrong when they had all thought I was out of it. That fear was what helped me finish my first Half-Iron even though technically I did fail - I did not in my mind because I finished what I started even when everyone else told me I was done.

Also sometimes failure is good - it teaches you to be humble and accountable - I remember my first time through college I made the decision to go out and party rather than study for a final. I figured I had it in the bag - I mean I was going into the final with 92% avg all I had to do was get 51% on the final. Well you can see the writing on the wall - I got 50% - apparently my brain does not function hungover and the instructor gave me a fail for the course. Everyone told me I should fight it but I never did - I knew I had failed and I deserved that grade - I had not respected the course or the exam. I ended up taking the course over again and graduating a term after all my classmates - embarrassing yes but lesson learned don't get too cocky. Always better to be humble.

If I had not failed to complete the half ironman in regulation time I would not have learned some valuable lessons and gained the insight and experience I did - which I know will help me to succeed for Ironman. As I told Coach nothing like a DNF to motivate you to not skip workouts. Lessons I learned from that race: respect the distance, train more consistently, eat, take anti-histamines, yada yada. I think when you fail it is important to look at the experience and see what you can learn from it.

But most importantly I told my coach - I am not afraid to fail and I don't look down on people who fail. I think what is more important to me is to not quit or quit trying - I told him that I despise people who quit. My husband says this and I agree - Quitters never Win and Winners never quit. Final answer - yes I have a healthy fear of failure.

Peace out

Shaun

Friday, February 6, 2009

We are not hood ornaments!

A friend's son-in-law was hit this past Monday while riding his bike to work. Not only was he hit but the driver then proceeded to push/drag him down the road for awhile before it occured to him to hang up his phone and see what might be in the way of his front tire!

I get that you were busy on the phone with your friend while you were trying to change the cd and hold your coffee that you picked up at the Tim HOrtons that you just had made the right turn out of into my friend. I get it. What I don't get and why I am miffed is that you would then proceed to falsify your statement to the police and talk your victim -YES VICTIM in to dragging himself - correct I said drag himself off the road. Unbelievable comes to mind. Thankfully the victim had called into work and told them he had been hit, he was right by work and they sent the first aid team out. Thankfully they heard the driver freaking out on his cell phone to his friends that he was on his cell phone and did not see this guy so there are witnesses to say he is full of horse pucky!

I guess I am so miffed because I understand when an accident happens - I get it and I know I have been guilty of the exact same thing - talking on the phone while driving- I pledge to stop now by the way - but be a man -own up to your mistake and take responsibility. Be accountable - that is the problem with people and soceity, everyone wants to blame someone else for their problems. Everyone wants to avoid responsibility whether it is the kid who did not study and now its the teacher's fault they are failing, to the athlete who skipped some workouts and now its the coach's fault they did not get their goal time, to the homeowner who overextended themselves, to the major corporation who's executives buy themselves a brand new friggin jet rather than take a pay cut and properly run their company! Seriously people take responsibility for your actions.

So anyways - the victim's leg is shattered, after close to 30 hours waiting in the hospital he finally had surgery and instead being allowed to stay in the hospital for the 4 days suggested by the surgeon he was sent home the next day. But that is another rant for another day.

I guess my request is simple - please be aware -hang up the phone and pay attention to the road in front and around you. It only takes a second and the next thing you know you have changed someone's life forever. YOu don't want a new hood ornament trust me.

Peace out
Shaun

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The long Hill

You think you are doing okay you are following the program - working harder than you did last year. Right that is how it goes.

Not so much. I met with coach for the first ride on the road with her and really the first ride since the accident. She wanted to see how our fitness was and how we were on our new bikes. Things were going pretty good until we hit the hills - then I fell back. Don't get me wrong I would get back on the group on the flats and take the lead on the downhills but get dropped on the uphills. ARGHHHH.

Frustrating on a normal basis but I am a climber it is what I am good at. In Coach's words this is our star climber well not anymore. Stupid accident. Well it is okay though as I said to coach I am concerned but not freaking out it is only February and it was the first ride. SO now I need to get physio and chiro to work on the right leg because the pain was pretty intense by the end of the ride.

Sigh - I repeat getting hit by a car sucks. On another note throw out a prayer for June bug's son-in-law - he got hit yesterday on his bike and did not get off so lucky as I - he is still in hospital waiting for surgery on a broken leg.

Me I am clinging on to my horseshoe and thankful that he will survive.

Peace out Shaun