April 11, 2005
I just competed, again! And I competed during a period in my life when I really needed to focus on something…other than myself. What I think is funny: is that when you compete: people think you are focusing on yourself. Which you are! But you are also focusing on other people too. By challenging yourself, which is a happy stimulus for humans, as you progress and become a better person because of the process, you are then a better person to those around you. I honestly feel that it is when people are stagnant when people become mean, angry, envious, and upset. Month’s leading up to the contest I was feeling unhealthy, insecure, undisciplined and sad because I allowed my emotions to overtake me. But I chose to take this focus and negative energy towards myself…and re-direct it to a positive goal. While I feel that I gave 110% of what I had emotionally, physically and mentally with the time frame, I know that it was honestly only 30% of what I overall, really had.
I didn’t win. But, I didn’t go, expecting to win with the judges. I went in expecting to win inside of me. See…I have to admit, in my competitive career overall, I’ve been pretty successful. But, I realized two years ago, that my achievements in ‘winning’ wasn’t making me happy. (Most people know me in the past as being someone who was ‘never satisfied.’) Not because I wanted to make more money, win more awards, or garner more success. I wasn’t satisfied because I didn’t understand life.
Life is a Process. Just like Love, Work, Winning and Losing…some days you win, some days you lose, but the more you experience, the odds will begin working in your favor because good experiences and most importantly, bad experiences, teaches you vigilance and resilience. I think by ‘losing’ I will now begin, when I start coming into competitions with 120% of what I have, that when I win, I will finally savor the success…I realize that you don’t know how sweet something tastes, until you’ve tasted something bitter.
Being in the company of competitors who understand the discipline, training, practice, studying, dedication…it takes to present your best self to judges is an exhilirating feeling. Knowing that I even deserved to be standing next to them…was an honor.
I always heard but never understood the term, “Birds of a Feather, Flock Together.” But now I understand it! I know now why I feel so great when I’m working out at the gym and there are so many people trying to become better physically, or when I’m at Borders and people want to learn more intellectually, or when I’m in church and people want to exist more spiritually. These places and ‘strangers’ in my daily life makes me feel like I’m part of a team…a community…a Flock of people who are just like me: people who are trying to understand and win at this game of life. I hope all of you take this entry as a motivational tool on your new journey to create a challenge within yourself…and complete it. One of the most important tricks to success is easy…it’s the follow thru. If you said you’re going to do it: do it. “We usually don’t regret things we’ve done in this life…we usually regret the things we didn’t do…”