Fashletics® Blog

The Definition of Winning

If you believe in yourself,

have dedication and pride and never quit,

you'll be a winner.

The price of victory is high,

but so are the rewards.

-Paul Bryant

My friend Kelly put this quote on her Facebook wall yesterday.  I googled the quote and found out it was by Paul Bryant who was a football coach for the University of Alabama. But when I read it on Kelly’s wall I felt like it was written just for me.

Like most athletes, I am hard on myself.  But lately I’ve been more frustrated than usual, I’ve been negative, and I basically feel like I’m falling into a black hole of self doubt.  I read this quote and it hit me hard. I felt like Kelly had unknowingly tossed me a life preserver.  I stared at the words and thought, “The answer is here somewhere.”  So I started dissecting it.  And the more I dissected it the closer I got to my life preserver…

I do believe in myself.  Sometimes I think that’s part of my problem. I believe I should be stronger by now, I should be faster, I should be more skilled. “Why aren’t I better?” is a question that plagues me.

I am dedicated.  Sometimes to the point of obsession.  And though this is supposed to be a good quality it also often leads me back to the same question. If I work so hard, if I am so dedicated… “Why aren’t I better?”

I won’t quit. I made a joke about retiring from CrossFit the other day at a particularly low moment.  The threat to quit was not real but the frustration was pretty serious.

Pride. Ah yes, here is where it falls apart. That’s what’s missing. By constantly comparing myself to women who are stronger and faster, I have forgotten to be proud of my own progress and my own hard work.  I like training with and competing against people who are better than me.  For the most part it pushes me and it's inspiring... that is until I get to the point where I'm looking so far ahead that I forget about where I began.  In the midst of chasing after my heroes, I forgot that I still have to set my own goals.  “Shoot for the moon and land amongst the stars” so to speak.  I just have to remember not to get so pissed off when I don’t reach the moon every single time.  Stars are nice too.  Hell, even the horizon is a pretty great place to be sometimes.

“You’ll be a winner.”  If the goal is to be a winner I think it’s important to define the word “win”.  It is different for everyone.  The majority of the time (definitely in my case when it comes to CrossFit) being a winner does not mean being #1.  I will never have a sense of pride if I don’t figure out exactly what I am trying to accomplish and why I am trying to accomplish it.  I can't win by trying to achieve someone else's goals.

I’m still working on it.  I’m working on it because I don’t want to be the type of person that stomps her feet and throws a fit on the edge of the Big Dipper while cursing the moon.  I want to be the type of person that dances her way through the stars and occasionally stops to give the moon a knowing look and a cunning smile as if to say… "you watch you’re back moon"… 


Photo by Jen Andrews: Me and Kelly before WOD2 at Clash of the Fittest in Palm Beach, FL. This event forced me to confront my evil inner voice.  And well, Kelly beat me... but I'm okay with that... for now.

You Vs. You Charm is from the Fashletics Pep Talk Collection.

  • Author avatar
    Sarah Wilson
  • CrossFitCrossFit WomenSelf Improvement

Comments on this post (7)

  • Feb 03, 2012

    This is so refreshing and inspiring. Recently, I have been plagued with self doubt wondering why I am not progressing like I think I should . Yet looking back I have come a long way in. Y corssfit life and need to focus on the accomplishments I have made. I just competed in my first competitor and due to my incredibly competitive nature , I was devastated that I didnt place better. But at the end of the day I really was a big winner, I had just completed a Crossfit competition with some of the most beautiful, strong, inspiring women. Thanks for posting your thoughts !

    — Denise Rosenberg

  • Feb 01, 2012

    I came to this website because I needed some encouragement as I sit here on Day 3 of my recovery from operation #3. This was it- exactly what I needed to read right NOW. Thanks for posting and sharing this :-)

    — Paula

  • Jan 20, 2012

    Going to put this airtcle to good use now.

    — India

  • Jan 02, 2012

    Absolute fantastic post. Period. :)

    — Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb

  • Dec 23, 2011

    Thanks for sharing your experience and challenges with us! It is so encouraging and I am sharing this with my “workout” girlfriends right now!

    — Alane

  • Dec 20, 2011

    Every lift you attempt, successful or not, is an inspiration to me. So for every moment of doubt that you experience I know that there is a woman out there who is thinking “one day I’ll get to where Sarah is right now!”. You on your worst day is still light years away from me on my best day. Surely you were once in my shoes and by the time I am in yours then imagine where YOU will be! And I can’t wait to see that!

    — Ivana Diez

  • Dec 18, 2011

    So needed this. I think everyone feels this way at some point.

    — Sally

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