40 for 40: Day 2

Growing up I played all kinds of sports – flag football, basketball, volleyball, T-Ball – but I never actually found my sporting niche until I found running. My love affair with running came in the 5th grade after I did fairly well in our school's jog-a-thon.

Doesn't that sound like fun? Run around a grassy track for hours raising money. It seemed like a great idea, but towards the end it was less running, more walking and wondering when I could get back to class. 

Fifth grade set the table for the first of many defining moments in my life, but let's not jump ahead. My PE teacher, Coach Anderson, saw something in me running around the grassy track at school and said I should join the track team – so I did.

On a warm, sunny afternoon at Berkeley Hall, I began my track career. I had one race that afternoon – the 600 yards. This was my race – my foray into the blissful world of track and field. I toed the line, and the gun released us. 

I took off around the first curve feeling fantastic.  The straight was equally amazing, and as I ran around the second curve heading towards the 400-yard mark I was leading the race – I couldn't believe it. I was thinking I am going to win my first race and then as I passed the 400-yard mark the strangest thing happened I ran out of gas and went from glory to defeat in epic fashion.

As I crossed the finish line, I had one thought – I'm coming back next year, and I'm going to win this race and the 400-yard race as well. It was the first time I felt this competitive streak within me.

What I realize now is that winning is easy to handle, but dealing with a loss requires grace and humility. This would not be my last defeat over the next several years, but your first loss stays with you a little longer. The real courage comes when you choose how you will respond to the loss.

[Tweet “The real courage comes when you choose how you will respond to the loss. – @DaveAnthold”]

What a great lesson to learn at an early age. The hard truth is – we don't win every race we start, but if we never step on the track and start then we've lost already because we didn't try.

For me, I have learned that I need to take that step onto the track. It can be a little scary, unsure of what lies ahead and whether I will finish what I have started. But, if I don't take the first step, I'll never know.

I want to encourage you to take the first step. Be courageous! You never know when your first step just might be a defining moment in your life.

[Tweet “Be courageous! You never know when your first step just might be a defining moment in your life.”]

[reminder]Looking back over your life or business, what step do you wish you would have taken and why?[/reminder]

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I help facilities manager and planner create spaces that are backed by research, engage employees of all generations, and drive business objectives. I am also the founder of Dave's Book Club – a once per month reading experience designed to help professionals grow their influence.

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