Being Gracious in Defeat

Going into the 31st annual Terre Haute Triathlon I had a single goal of winning my age-group (55-59).  Bottom line, I didn’t win it, or get second, but got a close 3rd.  I’ve had plenty of experience in regional and national level events to know I’m by no means an elite triathlete.  So you would think I would take 3rd place easily.  Ah, not so.  In a lot of ways I felt like all was lost.  Why?  I guess I haven’t defeated the pride issue just yet.

Had the good opportunity to talk with the Robert Smrekar who did win my age group just after the race.  Seemed like a really nice guy, and if I had to lose it didn’t seem so bad to lose to him.  Yet the next day I was thinking about how to go just that much faster to not let it happen again.  I’m still debating in my mind if that is a good thing or not.

As a person who doesn’t like to sit still, loves a challenge, and exercise this sport was made for me.  I’m not a talented swimmer, but have a reasonable amount of talent for cycling and running.  That combined I’ve spent 27 years competing in these crazy events.  It is a really good feeling to be fit to go out and race.  That enough is a reason to stay with it.  Yet the down side it thinking you are somehow more elite than the next guy. 

The take away, it’s good to be humble and enjoy the fine company of fellow triathletes.  Lots of nice people in this sport.  Also, good to be gracious in defeat even if you are plotting and scheming to win the next time …
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