Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

I read a m blog about failing being ok. It got me to thinking when I technically had failed but still learned a lot and was pleased with the result. I thought immediately about the Ogden Marathon that I competed in. It was my one and only marathon. I worked hard to compete in this marathon. It had a cutoff time in the middle of the race. You needed to cross the dam under a certain time or they would pull you off the course. I remember being approached before the dam I I read a fitbit blog about failing being ok. It got me to thinking when I technically had failed but still learned a lot and was pleased with the result. I thought immediately about the Ogden Marathon that I competed in. It was my one and only marathon. I worked hard to compete in this marathon. It had a cutoff time in the middle of the race. You needed to cross the dam under a certain time or they would pull you off the course. I remember being approached before the dam being told that if I didn’t cross the dam in 5 minutes that I would be pulled.
It was hard to coax my body to hurry up. I was already tired.
I remember running across the dam and the same guy approached me. At first I thought it was bad news, but he smiled and said, “You made it!” Tears came to my eyes as I turned down Ogden Canyon to finish up the marathon. I still had a long ways to go.
wpid-IMG_1116.jpgToo tired to even smile.
I was on mile 17 which means I still had 9 miles to go. Towards the bottom of the canyon, a guy came driving up to me offering me a ride to the finish. A little rage welled up as I declined his offer. I felt like if I had run that far I wasn’t ready to give up. At the bike path at the bottom, I was joined by a member of of Ogden Police force who was on a bike. He rode along side me all the way to the end talking and encouraging me along. As I ran down Harrison Boulevard to the finish line, I was joined by the rest of the bike crew as they formed a semi-circle around me and behind them was a line of police cars.
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No one was treated better that day than the last place runner. As I crossed the finish line, many volunteers were still around and made a human bridge for me to run under.

wpid-IMG_1119.jpgMaking a bridge for the last place finisher!

My brother, sister-in-law and cousin were all on hand to greet me. I was tearing up as I realized that I had finished something really hard for me. Last place, yes, but I finished. There were many others who didn’t make the cutoff or had to pull out of the race for what ever reason.

I never considered myself the fastest runner on any of the courses that I ran, but I did have a good experience at one race. One year I ran West Jordan 5k. It is an early season 5k. Not many registered so I came in third place in my age division.
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It was a cold rainy race, but I stood on the podium that day. Probably not many in my age division, but I still finished in the top three. Another time I finished a 5k at Orem high under 30 minutes. That was a fast time for me and I had to work hard to come under that time. I had a sense of elation knowing I had run my best that day and reached my goal. I ran on the track that I had trained on so many times and it felt good to beat the 30 minute mark.
There was also the time I trained well for a half marathon and I felt strong after. Many friends and family were at this race and I was greeted at the end by my daughter and granddaughter. I wasn’t the fastest that day, but I was pleased with the result.
We can get all sort of satisfaction without coming in first because it comes down to being in competition with yourself. Being able to accomplish a race you have trained for can bring great satisfaction. Knowing that you are doing things that you have never done before is great and most of your friends don’t even attempt to do it. I also enjoyed becoming part of the running community in the Orem area and made many friends and was encouraged by many running neighbors who kept me honest and didn’t let me give up on my dreams. Don’t fret about failure. There is much to be learned on the journey and many opportunities ahead if you are not afraid to try.

Hang in there and I will too
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