I love running, but I wouldn’t say I’m great at it, or a natural by any means. I’m “middle of the pack” when it comes to speed, and I’ve worked hard to get there. As a teenager running high school cross country, I was consistently the last female across the finish line at races and invitationals. It sucked. I wanted to quit. My dad wouldn’t let me.
It’s hard enough being a self-conscious teen, adding a solidly earned “loser” title week after week made it that much tougher. At the time, the sting of losing was almost unbearable. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I thought everyone was judging me for being slow. It was embarrassing.
Today, I’m glad I had to listen to my dad. I learned a valuable lesson about what it means to fail, and why it’s important to keep trying. It’s a theme that continues to come up in life and in goal setting for health and fitness. No matter whether your struggle is to run a 5K or simply walk a mile, failing can actually make you stronger. Here’s how to re-frame your way of thinking and find the upside of falling short.