I want to tell you something, I hope you will remember this day, this lesson and this message for a long, long time.
You won’t always win, but you can always be a winner.
Yesterday, I participated in a dressage training show. I have been riding again for the last 2 months after more than 30 years out of the saddle. It was my first show. Even as a child and teen, I never competed. I was a nervous wreck. But I worked hard, I practiced, I watched and learned from the other riders and on the day, I showed up.
I didn’t win. I didn’t place.
But I am still a winner.
Ava, you wanted to know where my ribbon was at the end of the show. Here’s the thing, my love, life is not like school. There are no prizes for showing up. There are no prizes for competing.
But do you know what the reward is?
Pride in myself. I showed up, I tried, I gave it my best shot. I set a benchmark for myself, now I know how to measure my future performances and there will be future performances because Mom never backs down from a challenge, especially the ones of the most personal nature, the ones where I compete against myself. Your very being here is proof of my tenacity, my determination, because when the chips were down, I never gave up and that is the most valuable lesson I learned from my infertility and the lesson I take with me into every aspect of my life. No matter what, NEVER give up.
There were so many amazing, personal lessons for me from yesterday’s show. Lesson’s I want you to learn. Lesson’s hope you take with you throughout your life.
It is so much more important to be a winner than to win!
Here is my definition of a winner and P.S. this is NOT just about horse riding or competing in any sport. You can apply this to every aspect of your life.
- Show up! Even when you’re scared. Show up and put up. You have nothing to prove to anyone except yourself. When you overcome that fear, well, it’s a pretty incredible high.
- Give your best shot, but accept that it’s not always going to be your day, accept that and look to the next opportunity to do better, to try harder. To triumph over ONLY yourself.
- Be humble always. Even in the face of defeat. Nobody likes a sore loser, congratulate your peers, thank your supporters.
- Don’t look for blame elsewhere. It’s hard, but always accept responsibility for your performance and if you made a mistake, own it.
- Reflect on your situation. Think about what you could do differently next time.
- Make a plan to try harder, even when you’re tired. Put in the work.
- Don’t give up and don’t back down from your personal challenge. Look for your next opportunity and go for it.
- Be tenacious. Be committed. Those are admirable qualities.
Because in the great show of life, it’s more important to be a winner than to win!