By Mike Greer2004/2005 USAT Interim Executive DirectorB.T.com ContributorHow many times do we find ourselves coming from a recent multi-sport competition to be asked by our loved ones, “Did you win?”It is never, "How was the race?" "How did you feel?" or "Did you have fun?" From the beginning of time it appears that there is and will always be that “winner” mentality. So, I think we learn early in our sporting life that bringing home the awards is foremost in our minds and those of the people around us.In many cases, the loved ones who support and cheer for the competitor feel they have a vested interest in whether or not there is a victory, and so they do want to know how we finished and how we are progressing. The most frequent response to how we finished is usually a humble reply of, “Aw shucks, it was a victory to just start and finish the race.” But sometimes this just isn’t as complete an answer as we could give and comes up short to the competitive minds around us. While there is not a “one attitude fits all”, there are some common guidelines that will help to establish some positive, healthy attitudes. My goal here is to present some ideas that will foster these positive attitudes and in turn will encourage you to the starting line, the finish line and possibly to the podium. And last but certainly not least, I’d like to give you an idea about how to feel victorious, no matter the actual place in the finish chutes.Dispelling Some MythsMyth#1: Anyone who trains hard enough will become a podium winner in the multi-sport (specifically triathlon) world. Reality#1: All bodies are not created equal and each has its own individual genetics. Sometimes hard training has no influence on the resistance presented by the non-genetic endurance body; realizing this, we just have to accept the “finish” as the “victory.” Categorizing YourselfMy experience over the past 20 years has led me to the conclusion that there are various ways to describe the different competitors:
So which athlete are you? Deciding which type of athlete you are will be the key to earning that feeling of victory at any race. Realizing that you’re no Superman but just a Fitness Fiend wanting to stay in shape can quell your disappointment when you don’t bring home loads of hardware from your latest competitions.The Seven-Yard ZoneAs a middle of the pack athlete myself, I have adopted some things I do to assure myself of a victorious feeling at every event I finish.
Hopefully some of these thoughts will provide insight to your “victory” in the future!A self-proclaimed MOPer, Mike Greer has raced in more than 200 triathlons. He’s also the race director of the Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon in Lubbock, TX.