I went to Wimbledon earlier this year and I was also lucky to have watched the bikers in the Tour De France cycle past me at an incredibly fast clip. Two amazing sporting events where I took away the same insight from both experiences:
It's really just about trying our best. And it's all about being fully invested in each moment.
When we give up the ideas (and myths) of doing things perfectly, or having everything solved, or feeling as if we must have everything figured out first, or come across as if we know more than we do - we actually begin living in a state of freedom.
The amount of energy it requires to maintain the control of being perfect is so much more than the effortlessness and ease (and consequently real empowerment) that become available to us when we just let go and participate.
Fully. In the moment. Whether it's a tennis match or bike race. Or a normal day at work or school. Or life.
I don't think we remember the winners. I mean, of course people win. But it doesn't make the "losers" any less of a winner because they didn't win the trophy or the title or the award.
And I actually don't think that's really why an athlete (or anyone for that matter) is doing it anyway. They're doing it for the love of participating. The joy of competing. The experience of achieving their best. I guess if they win, that's icing on the cake.
Three-time Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist, Gail Devers says, "Accolades and trophies are given to inspire others."
So what we really remember are the efforts to attempt. To try our best. Sometimes it turns out successfully, sometimes it doesn't.
Salvador Dalí said, "A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others."
So we inspire people not by being #1.
We inspire people simply by being.
And that happens just by staying in the game of life.
So keep pedaling. Eventually you'll cross your finish line.