Fail to Succeed


Fit to Swim

Fail to Succeed

By Coach Aubree Gustafson

You are ready.  You have prepared yourself for your event to the best of your ability; poured blood, sweat and tears into training; missed out on time with friends and family to bike for an additional hour or swim one more time during a given week.  You tell yourself all of your efforts will pay off.  The big event comes and…you don’t do as well as you thought you would.  All of that time spent preparing; where did you go wrong?  Sometimes we must fail to succeed.

Failure is an integral part of success.  We often learn the most about ourselves when we are not doing our best.  When we accept that we could give more or do better, we open ourselves to succeed on a new level.  We rededicate ourselves to our goals and have a more intent focus on making things happen.  Breaking down lofty goals into digestible chunks, and committing time to work on improving where you need to, helps one prioritize what needs to happen in order to succeed.

Sometimes it is hardest to fight the urge to compare oneself to our former self.  In masters sports in particular, there are many of us who are former champions on one level or another.  Allowing oneself to get caught up in the comparison of where you are now, to where you were then, can be self-depreciating.  This is a new beginning.  You are not the person you were as a teenager who did nothing but eat, sleep, swim.  Remember those t-shirts?  Now you have a career, a family, a dog, responsibilities, deadlines and plans and preoccupations that you did not have then, and that’s okay.

There is no master equation for success in sport; success in and of itself means something different to each of us.  Being the best you can be right now is plenty to strive for, and committing exactly the time you have available to dedicate to training is perfect for you.  In the water, on the road, and anywhere else you choose to compete, it’s really just you and the clock.  It doesn’t matter anymore what other people do, it’s about what you can do, and what you can do is amazing.  There is no such thing as failure when you give something your all.  Set your goals, train your ass off, and get out there and do your best.

We’re all cheering for you!

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