I think most people look upward and forward to define success. What I mean by that is when athletes look at race results; they typically look at what the fastest people in the age group do. If your aspirations are to be on the podium, place higher in your age group or as a higher percentile of the age group, you look up.
Heck, I do this for the athletes I coach. I look at current race times or training times and then scour the race results to estimate placement – for people that want to place high in their category. After the race there is a debrief time to evaluate how the event went – was it a success?
Some people define success as only placement in an event.Yes, that is one measure.
Consider broadening your definition and consider looking back. I’m working with several people right now that are achieving tremendous success – but I am not measuring race performances. I am looking at:
- Power production compared to some six weeks to six months ago. In some cases, I’m looking back as far as a year. Can you produce more power now, over any given amount of time, than you were able to do some time ago?
- Pace for a given heart rate now, compared to the past. If you can produce an eight-minute mile average pace in 30 minutes at a heart rate cost of Zone 2 (description found in free download Training Intensities document) now and six months ago that same workout “cost” you Zone 3 effort, you’ve improved.
- Is your endurance higher now than it was a few weeks or months ago? Can you swim, ride or run farther than before?
- Are you healthier now than you were in the past? Less prone to injury, fewer colds?
- If your meals and snacks are healthier today than they were last week – or even yesterday – that is success.
- The list can go on and on…
My favorite dictionary definition is, “the favorable outcome of something attempted.”
Though today you might be discouraged because you are spending your time looking upward and forward to what others have achieved, or perhaps what you once were able to achieve, I say look back and see what you’ve accomplished recently.
If you’re injured, I know you want to be up and running today, but you must be patient. Perhaps you couldn’t walk more than five feet last week. Maybe you were water running last month and your injured foot couldn’t bear weight. Maybe the flu bug knocked you down last week. But today…
Either today is already better than you were before – or –you have the opportunity to make it that way. Look back and see what you’ve already accomplished and remove yourself from any pity party. If you’re currently stuck in the pity party, you now – this minute – have the opportunity to attempt something and enjoy a favorable outcome by the end of the day.
Celebrate the seemingly small stuff ~ that is success.