On the Right “Track”: Chasing after persistence, not perfection

M. Menefee

The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure.” – Nike corporation

I wish I would’ve known this way before I started being an athlete.

See, I try to be perfect in everything I do. It’s not even just with sports – it’s with academics, cooking, clothing choices… everything. My mom likes to tell me that trying to be perfect — the best — is just my nature. I hate seeing myself fail and not get first.

Yeah, I know how it sounds. But if I know I didn’t try my best then I will be heated. Even if I did win first place, I’d still be mad because I know I didn’t try and push myself further.

My problem is I don’t really like accepting a loss. I hate losing in anything. Surely, most athletes feel the same way.

Yes, I can accept a loss if I put my whole heart, soul, body into it. But if I didn’t even try — that’s where I have a problem with myself.  I simply just call that giving up.

To me, failure isn’t even real. When you look up the definition of failure it says, “lack of successes.” My problem with that is “failure” does not define you and what you are capable of accomplishing.

Failure is also not even trying. Not making an attempt at all. However, if you did the best you could have possibly done, but still didn’t reach your goal, then that shouldn’t be considered failure.  “Failure,” in that case, would be NOT learning your lesson and making the same mistake over again.

When you  keep on giving it 110%, and fixing your mistakes along the way, then you are simply improving, getting better every time you choose not to give up – even if it’s not exactly “perfect.”