Worst than losing

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
– Winston Churchill

Today marks a week and a day where I have spent a ridiculous  amount of time contemplating how bad should I feel. With what you ask? Not competing in an event that I’ve dreamed about but knew I wasn’t going to personally: to nominally win, improve my understanding of an experience or practice, or to leverage my personal brand to create future opportunities. These might sound very ivory tower definitions (other than winning for the sake of winning) but there is more to the story.

This is a very Bobby Fisher method, I figured out once I was old enough to experience the life lesson: Either you win or you learn. For those not in the know, the calculated brilliance of the prodigy went beyond the board and also came from selecting which tournaments to put his prowess and prestige on the line for.
This week, I followed the same strategy, and without any fanfare or commotion withdrew from a small time Ninja Warrior feeder competition; an easier affair than expected. The only fallout was telling the few people expected to see me flail about the course. News that I was nursing a minor injury was apparently enough for my thick-skinned coworkers to agree competing shouldn’t be in the cards.

So that should be the end of the adventure. Yes, 8 weeks of training, often twice a day ended with no competition. But, if anything I’ve learned from life is things unceremoniously come to an abrupt end all the time. Let’s all thank George R.R. Martin for making a career of it, so we can be better adjusted. I do however still feel bad about withdrawing. Even with the knowledge that a full time rock climber obliterated the course, and I wasn’t even very obsessed with this competition.
What I may have an issue with is putting in the work, caring, and then having to rationalize away the invasive thoughts that: I did not train for the level of the competition. And, I was aware of that lack of preparation, the entire time. In my opinion an infinitely worse feeling than the sting of losing… Recently I wrote about the frustration I was having with my training process. Breaking it down, I am confident that the foundation work I started on wasn’t long enough nor did I have the schedule to adhere to the aggressive training schedule that I’m used to. Quickly recapping, the time commitment to either go to bed earlier or squeeze in work outs during lunch were on the table, but like many people that overpromise to themselves; I didn’t put enough systems in place to make it easy for me to go from

Wake up – morning run, 1pm (MWF) – yoga, 12pm (TTh) – Barbell complex, evening – plyometric conditioning.

It has been in these last few months I’ve really understood that when motivation is high it is an easy ask for your body to train hard for a few weeks. But, to straddle the idea of always innovating your training or keeping different ways to stay motivated is entirely a myth. Especially when I have to admit to myself this salaryman life at a desk is increasingly making me weaker and more susceptible to the most egregious offense than accepting a loss and that’s accepting mediocrity.

work of the day
Technical work –

5×4 Sumo Deadlift
Met – 4 rounds
10 Handstand Push Ups
20 Sumo Deadlif High Pulls
50m KB Farmers carry

Extra Credit –
500m Row
50 pistols

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brief words on bereavement

“If you have ever lost a loved one, then you know exactly how it feels. And if you have not, then you cannot possibly imagine it.”
– Lemony Snicket

Over the weekend I lost a friend and continue to mourn the void he left. Today because of my bullheadedness I fear I pushed another friend away. As I forced to have a conversation with a young man that called the departed his best friend. A term that develops a more sacred meaning the older I get. Our conversation was more of a fight and then silence than the talk I had hoped for. It had become apparent that it is easy to push people away when emotions are high, for who’s sake I’m still not sure. Although very sobering thought has just occurred: if I didn’t pursue years of mindfulness training would be just as angry with the world as the young man I tried to talk to? Currently my eyes are moist and want to believe yes; as I tell myself its because of excessive yawning wanting to fight off sleep for a little longer to better organize these thoughts. But, it would be more accurate to say stumbling on an old album has summoned up a bevy of raw emotions in me.
I’ve said goodbye to grandparents, teachers, and friends before. But, when you watch someone grow up for more than a decade; like an uncle you’re invested in seeing them grow up and do great things. When the unthinkable happens you know exactly how it feels, and you need loved ones more than ever because no one else can possibly know how it feels.