In general, I'm not a person who wins things. When I played Bunco, for example, it was a rare, rare night when I went home with anything other than a door prize, and when I did win something bigger, it was usually for low score. Drawings at work parties? My name is never pulled out of the hat. And bloggy give aways? I don't usually even enter anymore.
Whenever I have a race approaching, one kid or another will ask me, "Mom, are you going to win?" and rather than going into my complicated spiel—the one about how, when you're running, you win if you beat yourself—I usually just laugh and reply that I'm not fast enough to win. In fact, the last time I won an athletic first place, it was at my last gymnastics meet, in 1988, when I won first place on bars and floor.
Last Saturday, I broke my losing streak.
Our area's scout troop organized a 5k fun run for a fund raiser, and so of course I showed up to run it. In fact, I even took time off of work to go. It was pretty small—I think about 50-60 runners—and laid back. I was counting on it to get me to the right number of miles for the week, and to have fun with a few friends. The race started, I ran the course, I finished in 28:50.
And I came in first out of the women.
Of course, I only won because the field was so small. Everyone knows I'm not very fast! And luck played into it: as my neighbor's daughter (and Haley's cross-country teammate) pointed out, she would have won if she wasn't running on a sprained ankle.
But, you know, luck sometimes does play a part in winning, even in athletics.Odds are I will never be the winner of any other race. In fact, this might be the last time I win in my life. So I savored the moment. I felt like I had been reintroduced to a younger version of myself, the one who took confidence in knowing she could do something better than everyone else. (Back then it was uneven bars, of course.) And while there are caveats to my win, I still find myself energized by it. Willing to push myself harder and go just a little bit faster. To let my competitive spirit—long squashed by daily life—blossom just a little.