It’s easy to focus on the negatives. Not just after a disappointing race, but in day to day life as well.
Growing up, our family dinner conversations would begin each night with every family member noting their “highlights of the day.” It was a nightly ritual enforced by my mom and, many nights, felt like more of a begrudging chore. But let’s be honest, I was a spunky teenager and was more concerned about making it to the movies on time to meet my friends than trying to come up with my daily highlights when all I did was go to school.
While I undoubtedly did not appreciate conjuring up my highlights at the time, I am 100% sure that it made me a much more optimistic and positive person. Today I am so grateful that my mom continued to insist on “highlights of the day” participation each night.
My race at Xiamen 70.3 in China this past weekend was not the performance that I travelled halfway across the world for. Instead of explaining what went wrong (that has already been recounted in a book-long text message to coach Siri), let me list my “highlights of the day” instead:
1. I met and raced with a stellar group of women. I am so thankful to have met all of the inspiring women that I stood on the start line with. They were fierce competitors but even better people.
2. I had the opportunity to gain more race experience during what I chalked up to as a very hard “training” session (thank you to Haley Chura for the post-race chat and pointing these ones out!).
3. I experienced another country and culture. One of the best parts of the trip was handing out finisher medals to children in the Ironkids race with the other pro athletes. The kids were beaming from ear to ear from the joy of racing (or it could have been the sparkly medals they got for finishing, but who’s to say). It’s always quite amazing how gestures, like a high-five, transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries! We must have given out over 1,000 enthusiastic high fives.
Every day presents us with opportunities to learn and there are always things to be grateful for, even if they are as simple as your dog clamoring over furniture to greet you after a long day of work! Some days it is easy to focus only the negatives, but if we are willing to search for our “highlights of the day” it will enable us to grow and continue to improve ourselves. As Winston Churchill said,
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm!"
Professional cyclist turned professional triathlete living in Boulder, CO.