I Was On Pace to Win, But I Didn’t

Aaron McHugh


You were out the gate and setting a blistering pace.

The crowd was offering their cheers and accolades.

Everyone believed you were going to do it this time.

It looked like you were pulling out in front ahead of the rest.

You were on pace to win

It is easier to start than to finish.

It’s easy to be ahead of others in the beginning.

It’s bloody difficult to actually win.

When self-evaluation is missing

I hear this phrase a lot I was on pace to win.

Runners or athletes use it in their post race analysis.

At some point they were on pace to set a personal record, win their age group or win the race.

Early in they boast of how great their race was going, then comes their proclamation of I was on pace…

What I often fail to hear is an athlete’s self-reflection connecting what mistakes were made that threw a monkey wrench in their on pace plan.

The cruel reality is that being on pace to win and actually winning or finishing are not the same.

Difficult questions to ask ourselves

As Teddy Roosevelt famously argued,

the credit goes to the man actually in the arena.  

I think you’ll agree that there is due credit deserved to the man who even attempts to be in the arena.

Yet, I believe we owe it to ourselves to perform the necessary self-assessment to reconcile what really happened in the arena.

  • Why didn’t I finish?
  • Why didn’t I accomplish my goal?
  • What role did external factors play?
  • What should I consider doing differently next time?
  • What excuses am I making that are masking the real reasons I didn’t accomplish my plan?

Immortal Words

As Teddy Roosevelt said in 1910 “…and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...”

I have a list of things I’ve failed at.

Those experiences have been my teacher.

I hope you accept this as my invitation to have the courage to engage in some honest inward evaluation of why you fell short.

Failure yes, but we dared greatly, right?

Enjoy the rest of Teddy’s words.

Teddy Roosevelt, Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Acknowledgement to www.Teddy-Roosevelt.com for the above expert.

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