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What I Learned About Failing By Setting A PR

What I Learned About Failing By Setting A PR

by macdaddy on March 25, 2011 · 17 comments

Post image for What I Learned About Failing By Setting A PR

Have you ever failed at something? Failed a test? Failed to get that promotion? Failed to lose that weight that’s been holding you back?

If the worst thing you’ve failed at recently is losing a game of Connect Four to your 6-year-old daughter, then move along; I can’t help you.

But last weekend at the Shamrock Run, I learned something about failure that has been a long time coming and I’m going to tell you what it is:

Being afraid to fail only insures that it will happen.

Last weekend, I went to the race with an aggressive race plan. Failure to execute that plan would have left me hobbling to the finish line instead of sprinting there with a new PR in hand.

In my short history of racing, this is the first one where I’ve really dug deep and went for it. It is was the first time where I’ve looked failure in the eye and showed it who was boss. It was the first time that I believed in myself enough to not just go through the motions but to actually push myself as hard as I could to see how awesome I could be.

And guess what? I WAS AWESOME.

You can be too if you believe in yourself and stop being afraid of failure. Feed off that fear. It can motivate you to push past your boundaries, whether they’re physical or psychological. Let it push you to new heights. Don’t be afraid anymore and see where you end up.

I bet you’ll like the results.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tishia - No More Plus Size March 25, 2011 at 5:36 am

Great post. I think I’m finally starting to realize how true this really is (Being afraid to fail only insures that it will happen.) I’ve got ‘failure’ so ingrained in my brain that I feel like 90% of the time I fail before I even begin…if that makes any sense. It’s definitely time to start looking failure in the eye and showing it who is boss! Thanks for sharing this post!

Glad to hear the race went well :-)


2 macdaddy March 25, 2011 at 7:17 am

Yeah Tishia! You have to go get what you really want…Damn the consequences.


3 Fernando March 25, 2011 at 6:52 am

Just curious… what’s a PR?


4 macdaddy March 25, 2011 at 7:15 am

Fernando, a PR is a “personal record.” In this case, it’s the best time I’ve ever run that distance (15K).


5 Miz March 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

not only do I agree in theory Ive lived and experienced this, too.
it’s right along the lines of worrying being praying for what we do not want.
Miz recently posted..An ode of love to The Green Nut


6 macdaddy March 25, 2011 at 8:34 am

Miz…I love it when you comment over here on my blog. It makes me feel special :) You make it very obvious that you fear nothing and that’s something I strive to achieve some day. Now if only we could keep your comments out of the spam folder…


7 Andy March 25, 2011 at 8:15 am

“No risk no reward” really is a pretty insightful saying because if you succeed or fail the reward is in the confidence you gain by trying something new. I have failed at tons of stuff, but those failures have enabled my success because I keep trying until I find the winning combination (which as we all know can be very elusive).


8 macdaddy March 25, 2011 at 8:36 am

Andy…one thing I’m still afraid of is puking in front of my friends. For those of you that don’t know Andy, he’s the head trainer/owner of the gym I go to and recently produced my first “sweat angel” on the floor of the gym.


9 Greg March 25, 2011 at 8:38 am

You’re right on with this Mac. A fear of failure is what holds so many of us back from pursuing those things we hope to achieve. As say, any time you take risk, there’s the potential to fail. But you’ll also taste achievement.


10 macdaddy March 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

Thanks Greg. I’m still learning how to be “unscared” and am looking forward to the day when I’m brimming with confidence.


11 Kris March 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I used to be almost fearless – it was nothing for me to pick up and move half way across the country, no job, no plan – the joy of youth!

I have found that as I get older, I am much more fearful about taking action – what will it “cost” me?

I have tried to consciously embrace life’s challenges, realizing that fear will do nothing but hold me back! Great post!
Kris recently posted..Passion- Choices- Support- and Making It Happen


12 macdaddy March 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Kris—It seems you and I are on opposite paths. I spent the majority of my youth (actually the first 34 years of my life) afraid of failing. Whereas you are getting more cautious (I’ll change your word “fearful” to “cautious” because that’s what I think you actually mean) I’m am getting less so and loving it. I’m making more friends than I’ve ever had before. I’m accomplishing new physical feats that I never thought possible and I’m happier than ever. It seems we have two other things in common, passionate, supportive partners and a lack of sleep. I’m going to take a nap. And post this exact comment on your blog right now because I don’t have time to write another one…I have a run to get in :)


13 Johnny Palmer March 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm

One of my friends says he never times his runs because he doesn’t feel he needs to. Well, you either get better or you get worse son


14 AndrewENZ March 26, 2011 at 12:15 am

AWESOME post! This has always been my failure I think. Too conservative by half!
AndrewENZ recently posted..Tarawera Ultramarathon 2011 Race Video


15 macdaddy March 26, 2011 at 8:26 am

Andrew…I’m speaking with no concrete evidence, but I think this may be true about a lot of former fat guys…myself included.


16 Ann March 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I ran a personal best in a 5K today. My experience has been that I need a race to push myself to really exert, and reach beyond what I know I am capable of. On other runs, I’m often just marking time on the treadmill, or enjoying a slow run out in the fresh air. But in a race, I look forward to measuring myself against my previous times, reeling in that runner in front of me, and finishing exhausted and exhilarated.


17 macdaddy March 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Nice going Ann! a PR is always fun. Keep pushing!


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