Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winning vs. Losing

Last Wednesday, I got talked into joining a team for a "Challenge" event.  They have them in various cities all over the country, and its sort of like The Amazing Race, except not on TV, and you don't get to do as cool of things.  Just before the start of the race, an envelope is handed out, and teams are told when they can open it.  Inside are 12 clues to locations in which your team must photograph itself at, and each team is permitted to skip one location.
I was on a team of 4, and, of course, my other 3 teammates were exceptional athletes.  As in, everything they touch turns to gold.  Wish I was kidding (maybe I need to surround myself with less-amazing people? Ha, kidding).  Some of our friends formed another group, so of course, now we were in competition!  I haven't really been feeling on top of my game lately, I was super sore from my previous two workouts, and to top it all off, there was no bag check!  I took the bus down to the starting line to avoid traffic, and packed a bag with a change of clothes for after, figuring they must have a place for us to store excess bags/sweatshirts, etc.  Nope, I was wrong, and rather then a backpack, I had my SLUT with me (Single Lady Urban Tote) with one diagonal strap, and too much bag. 
The start of the race was in a beer garden, so of course, beer must be consumed before the race.  I probably should have figured that given the company I was in, we would be RUNNING as much as possible, and drinking a beer before running is not my preferred pre-race fuel.  Down went the tasty beer as we put on our race day shirts, pinned our bibs, and donned our matching red hats. 
We received our envelopes, waited for the countdown, and opened them.  Four people trying to read one piece of paper as fast as possible and think about things is tough.  I spotted a clue that I knew right away and said, "I know where this is, lets go!"  So off we went.  Running.  Fast (for me).  My bag was cumbersome, the beer in my belly sloshed around, my friends were WAAAAY ahead, my legs ached from too many squats.  I started to feel like I was going to overheat.  We arrived at the first clue.  We decided to take some time to figure out the rest of the clues so we could plan a route.  Pens were out, iPhones were googling, ideas were considered, and then shot down just as quick. 
We didn't want to move too fast for fear of missing something, but we were in a race!  We found our next clue, and were making our way hurriedly through the most touristy places, on a sunny Saturday.  It was fun.  My help was definitely needed with the clues, but my slow pace was a hinderance for sure.  Especially for people who want to go fast, having something deliberately slowing them down is not cool.  Again, another reason to never let yourself get fat/out of shape. 
Next thing I knew, we were on our last clue, with a clear path back to the finish line.  I knew it was a long stretch back.  We were running and passing other teams that were just walking.  I knew by the time that we had to be doing pretty well.  We got to the intersection near the finish...waited forever for the red light, (meanwhile a team on the other side of the street had a green light and stuck past).  Our team finished 16th out of 200ish teams to start.  Only 157 teams finished.  We were pretty exicted about that result.  Again, I have to give a lot of credit to the company I was with...that whole everything they touch turns to gold thing?  Yeah. 
And we beat our other team of friends.  More beer was consumed after the race (much better timing).  It was a good day, and eye opening to the fact that I still have a long way to go.  I read somewhere that winners compare their achievements to their goals, where as losers compare their achievements to others.  I think nothing could be more true in this situation.  If I compare what I accomplished on Saturday (we covered over 4.5 miles) with my goals (participating in life) I WIN!  If I compare my performance on Saturday to my three teammates who have taken better care of themselves for their entire lives, I LOSE.  So, I'm going to chose to win, and continue to work at what I can do.  Maybe this means next year they won't want me on their team?  Or maybe next year they will?   

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