I approached a kid who participated in many triathlons to give me advice for my first ever triathlon. His name is Martin, a 22 year old that has been competing for years and standing on the podium repeatedly.
A few years ago, while training, Martin fractured his vertebrae, which put him in bed rest for 3 months. He attended school while having a monitor on the ceiling of his room with a live connection to his class. Slowly he learned to walk again then started swimming. Pure will power, “brain power”! He became stronger, got back in shape and started to compete again. What a great guy to get advise from!
During our prep meetings he mentioned that he did not have a sponsor for the race and asked me if I would be willing to sponsor him. I liked the idea at first and throughout our conversations and comparing our times in different categories, we decided to team up.
A couple of days later, I regretted the decision of not going solo! I trained hard and I was ready! Not for the medal, but to prove to myself I could finish! However, it was too late! I already changed the registration, bought the tickets, and made a commitment to Martin that he will go to Galapagos as my teammate.
Martin did a great job on the swimming part and then bad luck struck! He had 2 flat tires on the bike portion of the race, which forced us to withdraw. I was so ready for the race that I decided to still run just for my personal experience. I ran my hardest and broke my personal best time! Although I felt great and very strong, I was still mad at myself. I had come all the way to Galapagos just for this, so I decided to stay and run the 21K on the next day.
What is done is done… while I was waiting for the race I kept reflecting on my decision and I kept regretting it. All of a sudden it hit me, what are you doing? Regretting failure is not what you preach! I opened one of my books, to get some inspiration and decided to read, The Greatest Salesman Of The World, from my “good friend” Og Mandino. I had read this book about 50 times. When I opened the book this paragraph came across “can sand flow upward in the hour glass? Will the sun rise where it sets and set where it rises? Can I relive the errors of yesterday and right them? Can I call back yesterday’s wounds and make them whole? Can I become younger than yesterday? Can I take back the evil that was spoken, the blows that were struck, the pain that was caused? NO. Yesterday is buried forever and will think of it no more.” Again, my good friend gave me great advice!
We all make mistakes and sometimes make decisions in a hurry and end up regretting. The important thing is to acknowledge it and try not to do it again, and move forward.
The majority of people live regretting their failures….
To my surprise I ended up getting the gold in the 21K and came in 8th in the overall categories. My son Gabriel said with a smirk, “you are the fastest among the oldest people.”
I came to Galapagos to do my best, run hard and earned a medal. I realized that I was just as good or as “bad” as the rest of the competitors. Most importantly I met great people that are focused and dedicated.
At the end, it was just a race and the worse thing that could have happened was to be disqualified. Not a big deal. This year I will train harder and next year will be competing against Mr. Martin!
"Yesterday is buried forever and will think of it no more." Og Mandino
Who I am today as a person is largely due to my failures!