Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Conquering Defeat

Here's yet another post about something completely different than any of the others. This one is about being strong enough to get back up after you've been knocked down.

Back in October I got cut from the Women's Hockey team at my college. I was devastated and honestly didn't know what to do with myself. There had never been a point in my life where I wasn't playing hockey or dreaming of playing in college. My freshman year went off without a hitch, minor problems, but nothing that would have tipped me off to this. We played hard and won a majority of the games. Sophomore year rolled around and I was ready for tryouts. I played DIII so there were not contracts and open tryouts yearly. I had trained endlessly over the summer and couldn't imagine what I could have done differently. The fateful email with the roster came and my name was not on it. I cried most of the night and had a rough time dragging my sore eyes to class the next day. I couldn't believe what had happened. I know some people may think it sounds dramatic, but this one goal, this one dream I had my entire life, I was living it, until that email popped up into my inbox.
The next day I realized I needed to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start a new adventure. If hockey has taught me anything over the past 16 years it's that when you get knocked down you must get up again as fast as you can. I have always been inspired by this quote from Teddy Roosevelt, "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
Now more than ever this seems to be incredibly relevant for me. This motivated me to start out on the path of a dream I've always had: to run a marathon. For the past five months I've been training and running and facing the icy sidewalks, snowy skies, and freezing temperatures to prepare for a different life long dream. 
My running buddy and me after a nice 12 miler. Couldn't have done it without him!

It is not without difficulty. There are days I wanted to quit. I've been battling with plantar faciitis and runner's knees, but it will not stop me. That marathon is mine and nothing can stop me now. Don't let defeat ruin you. Let it inspire you. Pick yourself up and strive to be the best. We'll see where this takes me, but for now I'm off to run some more. Happy Workouts!

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