Failure

Yesterday, my lovely bloggy friend T posted this on her Facebook:

Photo: Yes, I'm talking to you. You have been preparing for this for years, practicing all the time. You can't NOT TRY now because you're scared. You must forge ahead. Let those colleges fight over you!

It was one of those instances of receiving a message when I most needed it.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about running — specifically the marathon (that I still haven’t registered for, btw) that is coming up in 18 days. I’ve been thinking about how a part of me is seriously toying with the idea of backing out. Not because I can’t do it — because I know that I can — but because I worry that I won’t be able to do it as well as I would like. It’s not the pressure of doing the marathon as much as ‘proving’ that I am a ‘legit runner’ with a respectable finishing time.

And yes, I am fully aware of how ridiculous that sounds. Give me my moment, will ya? ;-)

And then yesterday…the above quote shows up on my Facebook….reminding me that there is no shame in failure…but that there is shame in not even trying at all.

At this point, I can honestly say that the verdict is still out on which direction I’m going to go in terms of this marathon. Will fear win out, or will I manage to drag myself out there, kicking and screaming, to face those fears of mine….?

Stay tuned.

* * * * *

I wrote this post last night. This morning I got up and went out on a short, quick 5km around my neighbourhood. I thought a lot about this post, and  this quote. I thought about my fears. I thought about running, and my self-perception.

Most of all, I couldn’t stop thinking about how not trying really is worse than failure. But here’s the thing: the thing about not trying is that then you don’t have to face the prospect of failure, do you? If you never leave your comfort zone then you never have to face your fears. It’s a scary thought to build yourself up, face your fears, and have them beat you anyhow.

Comfort zones were made to be broken, this is the only way that we can grow and change and become who we want to be. But the thing about comfort zones are that they’re awfully comfortable….

5 Responses

  1. My dad ran a marathon in his thirties… he thought for sure he’d never finish. He did… at the end of the pack. Initially, people asked his time and he ws kind of embarressed about it, but after a while (and to this day) he can just say “Yeah, I ran a marathon”. He owns that badge of honour :)

    • You’re right. That’s a badge of honour that not many people get to hold. I ran a marathon back in 2007 with what I consider now to be a rather embarrassing finishing time. At the time, all I wanted to do was finish and not be last. ;-) This time around, I’ve got bigger goals. To the point where I’m kind of forgetting to be proud of the accomplishment itself…

  2. Not trying IS worse than failure, you are so right. I also of course agree on the comfort zone. step out of it, you WILL rock this. I promise. Just by trying :)

  3. The only thing worse than failure is regret…

  4. Outside your comfort zone? Why, that’s where the magic happens! Go for it girl!

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