Friday, October 15, 2010

What you Win by Losing

Posted by PicasaSecond is the newest first, what you win by losing.
This is part of an article I read by Pz Hopkins. I think everyone can benefit from reading it, whether you compete or not.   If you do compete though, this will really hit home and it makes you think.
We all know how to act when we win. We're pretty good at popping champagne and cheering and smiling and hugging and fumbling around making that acceptance speech or holding up that trophy or prize. Winning is a piece of cake. Standing there hearing someone else's name called  other than yours is a different matter. Most people don't do a good job of losing. Some take it so hard they never recover. Then there are those who handle it as if they had won even though they hadn't. That's because they are winners at heart. They know they might not have achieved the highest award or honor on this given day, but they'll find a way to turn this experience into a winning experience. They'll actually make coming in second seem as good as coming in first.

Winning has become so important that for some anything less is devastating and impossible to overcome. Not everyone can win. That means there are tons of people out there who don't come in first. The colorful Walter Hagen is credited with saying, "The crowd remembers only the winner. Nobody remembers who came in second." That is not entirely true. The person who remembers the most is, of course, that second place person. Then, depending on how the loss is handled, determines how that second place person is finally remembered. Careers have peaks and valleys. Nobody stays on top forever. Finishing out of the top spot, gives you something to shoot for the next time around. If you're giving your all at the moment, you can't give anymore than that. Sometimes it'll be enough, sometimes it won't. Take experience and build upon it. Character is formed from a combination of victories and adversities. A victory isn't always being number one.
Bodybuilding is an example of an industry that produces few winners and many losers. The first Olympia was held in 1965. Over that span of time there have been only twelve guys who have won the title...twelve.   With multiple winners like; 8-time Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman, 7-time Arnold Schwarzenegger, 6 -time Dorian Yates, 4-time Jay Cutler, 3-time Sergio Oliva and Frank Zane, 2-time Larry Scott and Franco Columbu, mixed in with the 1-time Samir Bannout, Chris Dickerson, and Dexter Jackson; it leaves a lot of room for guys who competed but didn't win. Did this keep guys like Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray, Kevin Levrone, Nasser El-Sonbaty, Mike Mentzer, and Rich Gaspari from coming back again and again? Just because these guys never took the crown doesn't mean they aren't winners. Think of what it takes to be on the same stage. Think of the time and sacrifice and dedication it takes to compete on this level. As far as I'm concerned, the guys that finish up there at the top---especially anyone coming in second is just as deserving as the one who gets the judges nod. The variables that give one guy more points over another are usually so minute and the differences so minuscule and subjective, it's more about personal preference and probably a little politics thrown in that gives the edge to the ultimate winner.
Winning is a state of mind. The flip side is that losing is, too. If you believe you are a winner you will have the internal winning fortitude to sustain you when the waters aren't smooth. If you don't, you'll be in for some tough roads ahead.
This weekend is the Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, the biggest NPC amateur show of the year. 358 women will be competing in Bodybuilding, Figure and Bikini. In Figure alone the breakdown is this:

Class A – 26
Class B – 26
Class C – 49
Class D – 30
Class E – 28
Class F – 31

Total: 190
First, to be able to enter the Nationals, they all had to qualify at a local show by placing in the top five of their height class. In some areas this rule is the top three.  Their goal? To win their Pro card which will allow them to compete for cash prizes and hopefully gain some sponsorships, endorsements, magazine or modeling photo shoots, or just provide them that added status for their personal training careers.

Only 6 women out of these 190 will receive their IFBB Pro Card, the first place winner of each height class.  Does that mean that the other 184 women are losers? No, absolutely not.
I have several friends competing this weekend, I wish them and everyone else the best of luck, they are all winners to me.
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