So I’m riding along at about 30mph. I’m near the end of a long down hill when I grab my brakes and immediately my front tire pops. I’m on the ground skidding on my hip almost instantly. I came to a stop 50 down the road when I hit the curb. My race at the Duathlon World Championships was over. I cleaned out my wounds, got in my car and drove the 8 hours home for Charlotte, North Carolina to Grand Island, Florida. I was bitterly disappointed to train and work so hard all to have it do down the tubes in an instant.
I tell you this story to help you see a couple of things that I saw and maybe you can apply them to your life.
Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. My last two races have featured me as the bug. Have you ever been the bug? We all have. The good news is that for every time you are the bug you get to be the windshields another time. That you can bank on.
I happened to crash on a corner that an ambulance was conveniently placed. Lucky me. There was also a guy there with a front wheel. He looked at my bike and asked me if I wanted the wheel to get back in the race. I looked at my bloody arms and legs and said thank you but no. Sometimes you, in racing and in life, need to know when it is time to put your tail between your legs an call it a day. Being down and out doesn’t mean you are out forever. Sometimes you just can’t finish today. That’s OK. Accept your fate, learn from it and move on. I didn’t finish the race and that’s OK.
I got home late at night and slept for a few painful hours. In the morning I woke up, put my running cloths on, walked out the door, and walk/jogged for an hour. Down does not mean out. Get back on that horse! Hey, we all fall down, right? We all mess up at work, or in our relationships, or at the dinner table… Who hasn’t had an extra dessert at the buffet? Falling down is acceptable as long as you dust yourself off and get back up.
I’m racing another big race on October 24th. My focus and energy is focused on that race. Again, I’m bitterly disappointed in what happened last Saturday but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it now but look forward to what’s next. The past is what it is but the future is perfect. You’ve heard me say that before. The future is perfect.
Lastly I want to say this. Don’t give up, don’t ever give. Life with sometimes throw you to the ground. This is the true for all of us. Your character is not defined by what happens to you rather you will be defined by what you choose to do next. I choose to press on and fight to win. How do you choose?
Please don’t use road blocks or bike crashes as excuses to not give your best each and everyday. Accomplish your goals. Start now. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.