What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

As the bell rings loudly, signaling the end of your current class. You get up from your desk, wave goodbye to those seated near you, and exit the room into the hallway that’s already filled with the load chaos of people moving from one place to another. Managing your way along the endless stream of students, you find your friends and make brief conversation, then separate ways; you heading toward your English class. As class begins, the teacher hands out a paper outlining how best to write……comedy? You haven’t heard a presentation on this before…….

This is the scenario that I found myself  in today, and I must admit, it seems to a pretty boring one. But in the following lecture, I heard one thing that I really began to appreciate, something that stuck itself in my mind. Staring at the packets we had just read for the last five minutes, my teacher asks, “What is the most important part of comedy?” In other words, what is the greatest contributing factor to comedy, or  the best thing that you can take away from it? Among the raised hands, he eventually selects one with the right answer: a person can mess up, and it’s alright that the person made the mistake. An example he gave was a student accidently wrote on the board 2+2=5. While the teacher might get angry, the students would laugh because they are recognizing that the student made a mistake, and it’s ok that the mistake was made. The students in the class are able to find the situation humorous and laugh because other than it being a somewhat embarrassing mistake, they know that the pupil who made the error will be ok; the student at the board would be sure to try to pay more attention next time, to do better and improve.

This whole concept is so applicable  to life in general! Have I made errors in my running career that have cost me some sort of consequence? Yes, of course, and I try to build off those mistakes, to learn from them. And then in the next race, I want to not only do better, but to perform at the best of my ability. IT’S ALRIGHT to occasionally mess up! Pick yourself up (metaphorically or literally, whichever applies), and learn from it. Yes, the New Year is here, and it’s that time where many people are making resolutions and goals on how they want there year to go, or what they want to accomplish. I have certainly have some set for myself (4:32 mile and 9:44 2 mile for track; sub-15:15 3 mile for next xc season in the fall, etc..). Are all of those realistic?- yes. Am I motivated to achieve them?-extremely. But if in my attempts for these standards I fail, I must take something away from it, regroup, and carry on. There’s always another race. As Irv Blitzer said in the movie, Cool Runnings, “If you’re not good enough without the gold medal, you’re never going to be enough with it”. Realize it’s ok to make mistakes; they happen to everyone and you wouldn’t be as good a you without them. I wish everyone of you a Happy New Year, and all the success in achieving your goals and dreams in 2014, whether running related (like mine) or connected to some other area of your life; that you can see mistakes as learning methods to improve. I think Kelly Clarkson might have said it best: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.


PS- The video following is an amazing story of determination, hard work, and strength. Hicham El Guerrouj puts aside past defeats to realize his dream of being crowned Olympic Champion. Whether you’re a runner, or not, visiting my blog, I really hope you take the time to watch this. Simply amazing.


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