Recently, I shared with you my race finisher’s photo.
It captured a proud and successful moment in my journey.
But what it doesn’t show you is all the hard work and failures it took to get there.
And I think this can so frequently happen with social media. We compare ourselves to people’s finisher photos.
We see the photo but not everything going on outside of the frame.
We admire where they finished but not where they started.
We may want that same happy moment for ourselves. But we don’t see all the failures and heartbreak it took to get there.
Let’s take my Brighton Marathon finisher’s photo as an example. The picture showed my success but it didn’t show my timeline of failures:
- I was originally meant to run the Barcelona Marathon in 2020. I found out this was cancelled in the final hours of my live 40 hour radio marathon fundraiser for the race (particularly harsh blow after being awake for over 50 hours).
- I decided to run Brighton instead. This was also cancelled and has since been postponed a further 2 times.
- I’ve dedicated 3 years of training to an Ironman which has been cancelled twice in the final month. I was 26 when I started and I’m still training for it at 29.
- I’ve been planning to do a radio show marathon fundraiser for months only for it to be cancelled last minute.
- I didn’t feel motivated to do this race. I hadn’t been well, I was missing a great networking opportunity, I was embarrassed by the fundraiser being cancelled, I hadn’t run long distance in months and I’d had 2 hours sleep.
The photo also doesn’t show the many social occasions missed, the exhaustion, the tears, the strict fuelling required, the juggling of work and training, the sleepless nights, the health struggles, the grief.
But I’ve learnt from every failure, I’ve innovated, I’ve reframed, I’ve kept showing up, I’ve taken action and I turned it into a great weekend and an enjoyable race. I finished with a proud finishers photo.
Countless failures amounted to one snapshot of success.
Don’t yearn over finishing photos.
Learn from people’s journeys instead.
The biggest lessons rarely fit in a frame.
Big love, Meg 💛✨