Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Falling Short.

Wow, it has been an unbelievable season of racing so far.  We are just returning from IM Canada-Whistler and I am beyond impressed with the venue, the field,and most importantly all aspects of the TNM family. Weighing heavy on my  heart is athletes experiencing putting everyone ounce of their heart and soul into their events and falling short. Don't get me wrong there were some HUGE success stories out there!

We often praise success, we look up to those succeeding, and short ourselves of accomplishments along our journey. Some are blessed with achieving their goals right off the bat, most however, need more chances, opportunities and when the time is right, IT WILL HAPPEN!

Sometimes, no matter how prepared, how diligently you trained, you can never fully predict how your day will unfold.

The ONLY common trend of success is NEVER giving up, its okay to step away, its okay to re-evaluate, but at the end of the day the regret of not giving it your all weighs heavier than possibly falling short a handful or more times. Making the overall dream that much more rewarding.

My ultimate goal during my swimming career was to win state and race at the Olympic trials. I've mentioned before that I never won a state conference meet (this is a smaller meet than state).  I gave it my best every dang year, I slept 8+ hours a night, I took naps when I could, I ate well, I did all my dryland work to the perfect "T".  I never missed a beat.  When my senior year finally came around, we swim with our high school teams for 3-ish months out of the year. And I was convinced I was not training hard enough, my pool mileage was less, I skimped on dryland by just a tiny bit, the workouts didn't seem as challenging.  Most of this was not by choice but because my families energy was "all-in" to helping my father battle cancer. I dragged myself through workouts, I gave my best, I went to the conference meet and once again fell short of winning.  I questioned whether I would EVER be able to win the state meet.  The cards were stacked against me.

State meet came and I was a different kind of "silent-nervous". A feeling I can't describe.  Dad had passed away a month earlier and it could have very well just been his presence.  On the start block I just dove in and did what I had visualized and trained for day in and day out since I knew the state meet existed.  I didn't force anything, I LET it happen. I won!

I fell short of the Olympic Trials (.02 seconds) but felt I could accomplish this in college. However, I gave up on myself in college and vowed to never let  myself  "quit" when it comes to chasing a dream.

To want to give up, is normal, to believe your dreams may not come true is common, but to truly know what you are capable of and know that when your time is right, it WILL happen.  Had I won state previous years, or a conference meet the moment of finally achieving this dream would not have nearly as much meaning. The time was right, when I finally let go a bit, believed I had given my best with my situation, and something else took over.

In triathlon, it is so rare to qualify for Kona on your first try (or any goal), and most often it is several attempts later. Watching roll-down was bitter sweet because I could only imaging how many times most of these athletes have tried and tried again for their slots. Having team members/athletes miss slots or cut offs  by 2 minutes, 1 slot, 7 minutes etc. Just makes me believe in them even more. It is a journey, and we are one step closer.

And if you are having a hard time believing my story, then check out Trevor Wurtele's IM Champ Victory Speech. Moved me to tears.

There is a difference between deciding to move on knowing you gave your everything (as I am with my professional triathlon racing), and just giving up because you feel you should have reached your accomplishment by now (as I did with the Olympic Trials cut). Most give in to the latter, and their moment is just within reach.

Falling short is not failure, it is forcing you to continue to stand tall, believe more in yourself, depend on your support team more than ever, often them believing in you more than you do yourself, and make your ultimate victory that much sweeter, let the journey continue!


JC said...

Fantastic post T. So so so very true. Congrats to all f your athletes.

Steve said...

I have only been around for a bit, and don't know you a ton, but thanks for being open.

I can't imagine this was an easy post for you to write.

Take care. :)

Beth said...

Thank you for this Teresa.

Genevieve said...

Wise words from a wonderful woman. Thanks, T. XX

Christie said...


So grateful to have met you... grateful to call you a coach and a friend.. and so grateful to have someone to look up to who is the epitome of standing tall through all the tough times. xo

Kiet said...

Great great great, did I say great post? Oy vey, my attempt at Kona, oy vey.

LaVonne said...

YES, thanks T! It is hard to decide to move on and not feeling like you have given up. Like you said, it's moving on, staying proud, and setting and reaching different goals.

You are wonderful.


Unknown said...

T, I can relate to your post. I find myself regretting that I did not try swimming college, thinking that I probably could have done better than I believed at the time. I had gone through some bad coaching changes and decided to just be "normal" in college instead of swimming at a competitive school (IU). Now I see it as a missed opportunity. I was maybe a little young and did not see that it was up to me and my belief in myself, not up to coaches who would no longer be in the picture. That experience is partly why I decided to do an Ironman, knowing that later in life I might be sorry for not trying and finding out if I could. Thx for sharing your own stories. Good perspective. Jen D.

Anonymous said...

I wish i would have read this sooner, but i guess it is never to late. Coming up short sucks but as you said you just can't give up. About a month to go before i head to the start line again!