Did Not Finish
This is a term no athelete ever wants to hear in any race
But there will be DNF in most races.. it is the nature of things…
So this past weekend at lake placid ironman competition there were strong atheletes who came.. attempted and still had DNF..
2 striking examples gave me cause to pause and reflect…
First one was in the morning… I got up early and watched the PROS and ELITES start their swim in the lake.. i walked back to the campground about 3 miles and by the time I got back the first round of PROS and ELITES had already finished the 2.4 mile swim and started their bike course.. FAST !!.. I saw them from the camp ground side street.. I cheered and encouraged them…. then I saw it…
An elite athelete walking back on the opposite side with his bike by his side…
I asked what happened ?
He simply said shrugging his shoulders.. ” bike broke .. I am done”
This is an athelete who at his level has trained for years and is of the caliber I may never reach.. yet he goes home with DNF.. he didn’t do anything wrong… circumstances happen..
Heartbreaking for him for sure (and me to see what can happen in a race)
The second DNF I saw was after midnight…. the race is over and my friends and I are walking back to base camp.. and all the fanfare is done…lights are off and the road is dimly lit by the street lights… and there I saw it.. half a mile from the finish line..
A lady athelete still running towards the center of town to get to the finish… it was heart breaking to see that she was beyond the 17 hour mark and also DNF but she didn’t stop.. she was pushing to get to the finish line even though there was no hope of finishing.. so why did she do this? Perhaps to feel that she did 140.6 miles ….
What was beautiful was that her whole family came out and was running with her to support her all the way back.. my tears were flowing again as I could hear them encouraging her..
“You got this”
I had no words as she needed no encouragement.. she was pushing through.. she had also probably trained for a long time but something must have happened on the course that slowed her down…
I yelled ” you are an ironman in heart,mind and spirit you got this” and carried on… lost in my thoughts
We can do everything right yet not win…… this is not failure… this is life
There are times in life where we DNF something we start.. yes it is important to finish what we start but morever it’s the journey not the destination that defines us
It is not always the finishing of a race that matters as much as what we have learned along the way and experienced the trials and tribulations of each moment till the end… this is what we call life.. the path till we die
I love you