Okay, I’m going to brag a little. After bicycling competitively since 2002, I finally made a podium at the Rocky Mountain Senior Games this past weekend by placing 3rd in the 20k time trial. Obviously, after fourteen years you would think that I would learn to win somehow. For a number of years, I would place fourth, and consider myself lucky.
I’m one of those people who just love racing and am not really concerned if I win or not, but I’ve got to say standing on that podium with the medal around my neck I felt better about myself than I have in a long time.
I’m not a loser anymore. I took third place in a field of eight and got the medal. Wow. No, I didn’t win first place, but that’s okay. Someday, I will. I’m only 68 and I will keep racing for a long time to come.
Being an also-ran for so long made me feel that at least I’m out here doing my best. I’ve made really good friends with the others who frequently finish near the middle or lower. We’ve bonded in a way that gave us character and a sense of humor about our position in the field.
What I’m getting at here is, if you stay consistent, continue to train, keep visualizing that podium finish you will achieve it. For some, victory comes easy and often. For others like me, it comes infrequently if ever. But, the joy of competing and being with others with the same dreams gives me a sense of myself.
We humans aren’t meant to be couch potatoes with no aspirations. We can’t live off the efforts of others and expect to feel fulfilled. Almost any activity can bring joy and fulfillment. Visualize yourself helping a neighbor, tutoring a child, walking a 5k or just around the block. Visualize writing a book, learning to play the piano, or if you have a skill that you could teach to others, teach it somewhere. Visualizing helps make dreams come true.
The Senior Games are over for another year. I’ll have many races in other venues in the meantime, but I will no longer see myself as an also-ran because now I know I can do better. That visualization may move me forward in other areas of my life too, we’ll see what happens.