Friday, August 26, 2011

Taped-up Shoes....

Not too awfully long ago, an old friend of mine stumbled across this photo in her high school yearbook. That's me in the Chino track jersey leading in the two-mile run against her school.

Note the taped-up track shoes. We didn't have much money back then, but it never kept me from winning races. I won a lot of them too. Not because I enjoyed winning, but because I could NOT stand to lose. EVER!

That attitude served me well in most aspects of life but did not necessarily bring me joy. You see, winning was not joyful but a relief. A relief that I had not lost.

In my early professional life, managing a retail store, I competed vigorously to maintain top sales until I was promoted to General Manager. Then the competition became the goals and quotas I set.

I never understood how runners, salesmen, and managers could accept second place so easily. I could not grasp how week in and week out runners would line up, to run the race, with no hope of winning. I still don't get it.

Now, as my body fails me, the victories are few and far between. I feel no joy when "winning" means I was able to carry a sack of groceries from the car and navigate opening the door to the kitchen. There is no joy in that. There is only relief. Relief because soon, very soon, I am going drop that sack of groceries and I will lose.

I will NEVER be the runner with no hope of winning. I will hang up my taped-up shoes and die.