If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success.
— Holly Van Driel
I’VE ALWAYS LOVED THAT QUOTE because you can interpret its advice in many ways. If you don’t quite reach a goal, you can be happy with what you did accomplish – the “Shoot for the stars; you might at least hit the moon” approach. Then there’s the cynical interpretation of, “I was really aiming lower anyway,” like what some runners say when they run poorly in a race. In my case, happily, I’m using a third take on it – when you achieve a goal too quickly, redefine the goal.
My Tuesday evening bike ride to Chelsea and back put me over my goal of 800 miles for the year. And if I continue running about 25 miles per week, it looks like the Chicago Marathon on October 9 will put me past my goal of 800 miles in that category, too. In January, I considered those to be reachable, but stretch goals, since I’d never done anywhere near those distances before. By all rights I should be very pleased, and I am. But with nearly three months left in the year after Chicago, I’ll need something to keep me fired up to get out there in the dark and cold.
So I’ve decided to “redefine success” by adjusting my distance goals to 1,000 miles in each category. (If you’ve been following the progress bars on the right side of the page, that’s why the percentages dropped.) I like the new number for its very impact, if nothing else. Doesn’t the idea of saying you ran a thousand miles – or did a thousand of anything – sound impressive? Not that I’m going to run around bragging, of course, but if someone should happen to ask me as part of a casual conversation…
I also have my sub-20:00 5K goal remaining, with my target race the Holiday Hustle in Dexter on December 3, my 50th birthday. I’ll give it the best I’ve got, but if I don’t quite manage it, I guess I will “redefine success” there too, and set my sights on 2012. No need to give up on that one yet!
Here’s one more “if at first…” quote I like:
If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not your sport.
— Author Unknown