This past weekend I placed first in my age group in the Ashland Rockbuster, an off-road duathlon (1.8 mile run, 5.5 mile mountain bike, 1.8 mile run).
As one of only two in my age group, it would be easy, and totally my style, to downplay the award – but watching my kids reaction as I accepted my medal, I realized that is not the message I want to convey to them, or to myself.
Because the truth is this – I showed up on Sunday, and earned my award.
I showed up on Sunday, despite an overwhelming desire to stay snuggled in my bed. I showed up on Sunday, despite having to wrangle one slightly cranky birthday girl and her brother out of bed and into the car. I showed up on Sunday, despite the fact that I don’t own a mountain bike, and would instead be riding my cyclocross bike. I showed up on Sunday despite not really being a trail runner and with limited training time.
I showed up on Sunday and it was totally worth it.
Beyond taking the podium, it was totally worth it for the experience – for the chance to get outside, to try something new, and to get my season kickstarted. It was totally worth it thanks to my friends who also showed up to ring the cowbell and show their support.
But maybe most importantly, it was totally worth it because it reminded me how important it is just to show up. To take a risk. To try something new. To not be afraid to fail or fall. Not just in sports, but also at work and in life.
Showing up doesn’t mean we will always succeed – but it does mean that we have a chance to win.
Because if we don’t race, we can’t place.