Off the back of athletes racing yesterday at the last race of the 2XU Triathlon Series, I thought I would re-share this experience I had during race season in 2016….
I crossed paths with an old friend/athlete at the pool recently. After the initial how are you’s, he asked “So are you winning?” Without even thinking about my answer I replied, “I haven’t raced in a few weeks, so……” But before I could finish, he cut me off: “No, I didn’t mean are you winning races, I meant are you winning at life?“
The question thew me in the moment. I actually didn’t know what to say. Whenever anyone has asked how I was going, they generally mean ‘how’s training going?’ And when I’m racing, the question generally isn’t “how are you going?” It’s always “How did your race go?” or “Did you win your race?” It was engrained in me to answer a question about winning in terms of training and racing.
So when the friend asked me if I was winning, my immediate reaction was to talk racing. And it stunned me, that this was the first thought that came to my mind. And I wouldn’t be surprised if this was many triathletes first thought (consiously or subconsiously). We spend time with so many others in the triathlon world that the culture is to always talk training and racing, and numbers, and PB’s. How often do your fellow triathletes ask how your ‘life’ is going? How your partner is going? Whether you are happy? Whether you are healthy? Many of us find ourselves so absorbed with the world of triathlon that we forget there is so much more than just training and racing.
So it got me thinking. What does it mean to be winning in life? What does that look like? What does that feel like? If I was asked the question again, what would my answer be?
So I assessed the key areas in my life that are important to ME:
- My health / happiness
- My relationship
- My friends & family
- My Work/life & training balance
- Achieving my racing & life goals
I reviewed each area to ensure if someone asked me the question again, I could easily answer. I may not always be ‘winning’ in each of these key areas, because life isn’t all rosy, but as long as I am consistently winning.
And so it was this conversation that reminded me again that triathlon isn’t just about racing, and it certainly is not just about winning races, or searching for that next PB. Life is about SO much more.
So next time if I’m asked the question, I’ll wholeheartedly reply: “I’m most definitely winning. I have my health, and I am genuinely happy. I have an amazing partner who means the world to me and we support each other in our own aspirations and through our own challenges. I have friends and family that I treasure and who are there for me – not just talk triathlon! And I have found a great work/life and training balance to allow me to enjoy all these amazing people in my life. All the while achieving my racing and life goals. Am I winning? Hell Yes I am winning!”
And next time someone asks you ‘Did you win?‘ Think twice before you answer and ask yourself first – are you winning at life? And then give them your answer.
Happy training, racing & life! 😉
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Sarah is the Director & Head Coach at Complete Per4mance Coaching. Born out of the desire and passion to not just coach but to educate athletes, Sarah shares her 10 years of coaching and racing experience, knowledge and education with athletes of all levels to help them achieve their optimal performance while maintaining a balanced, happy and healthy life.