It has taken me a week to process the notion that I read, enjoyed, and was inspired by an article on I know. I?m ruined. But it was GOOD. (Says the robotic, brainwashed lab rat.) 

Highlighting heavyweights like Texas coach Mack Brown and former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, the article compares the feelings of victory and defeat and paints an interesting picture of wins and losses within the context of athletics. Coaches and players interviewed for the article admit that they are more deeply affected by losses than by wins and that "losing is more hateful than winning is joyful". The feeling of loss seems to linger longer because it's unexpected, in a way. Teams work and train toward a goal of winning so when they win, there's no big surprise – that was the plan all along. Sure they celebrate, but the feeling is somehow never as good as they had anticipated. But when the same team puts in the same work and training toward a goal of winning and they LOSE – it's a different story. It's the unforeseen. It's a shock. And they struggle.

I started to internalize it all when I read the sports psychologist's quote about halfway in, "A lot of athletes I have worked with compete to avoid losing, because the losing is so bitter. They not only want to win, they want to avoid losing. The highs are high, but the lows are really, really low."

I know people who operate this way. Living to avoid loss. And when they lose – it's really, really low.

Loss hurts. Grief is hard. There are people who don't survive it. Not that they die from it, necessarily, but they never recover. They never bounce back. They let one loss erase months and years of wins, because they just can't get over that feeling of defeat.

Truth is, life is hard. None of us get out undefeated. We live each day just trying to avoid the agony of defeat. We "get through" the week — living weekend to weekend, trying our best to side-step unpleasantness. Our minds are quickly saturated with news stories of war and natural disaster — and we can change the channel. Avoiding a loss.

Some of us avoid the game all together. We don't let people get too close, because there's always a chance that something could go wrong and someone will get hurt. People are imperfect, and they treat each other imperfectly. But the risk of hurt and loss is not worth not playing the game.

But it's inevitable. It happens. And no one sees it coming. So it hurts. A lot. And there it is – covering everything in our lives. Defining us entirely instead of being but a part of who we are.

I'm fairly certain that ESPN's sports writers don't write about things like this with me in mind. But I'm glad I read that article. I think the way I feel about it is exactly why I started my Life List. You can't truly avoid loss, and you shouldn't forbid yourself from grieving. It's important to appropriately experience loss. But be sure you're celebrating wins. Really celebrating. And don't let losses be just about losing. The best sports teams use a big loss as a time to learn and reflect and improve. The best thing that can happen to them is that they become a better, stronger team because of a lesson learned the hard way.

Don't play the game hoping to avoid a loss or two. Play to win.

And then dance in the end zone.

2 thoughts on “Undefeated

  1. Love this post, Sarah. It’s so tempting to avoid any risk, but the wins really are amazing.

    Purchasing a new or used vehicle could be a challenging process unless you know what you will be doing. By educating yourself about vehicle purchasing before you decide to head to the car dealership, you possibly can make stuff less difficult on your own. The following tips may help your upcoming buying trip be more pleasant.

    Always take a auto technician coupled when buying a brand new car. Automobile retailers are well known for promoting lemons and you do not wish to be their next sufferer. Whenever you can not get yourself a technician to think about vehicles along with you, at least make certain you have him evaluate your final option before buying it.

    Know your restrictions. Before you start shopping for your next auto or truck, choose how much you can manage to pay out, and stick to it. Don’t overlook to feature interest in your estimations. You will probably spend around twenty percent as an advance payment also, so be well prepared.

    Well before seeing a dealership, know what kind of motor vehicle you desire. Study each one of you alternatives ahead of buying so that you can evaluate which works best for your budget and loved ones needs. Seek information to find out simply how much you must be paying to get a potential automobile.

    Prior to signing any contract make time to go through each and every line, such as the small print. If there is anything detailed you do not understand, tend not to indicator until you purchase an respond to that you simply recognize. Unsavory salesmen are able to use a legal contract to put several service fees that have been not reviewed.

    Should you retain the preceding suggestions at heart the next time that you just go looking for a car, you may be more prone to get a good bargain. Getting a vehicle does not have as a frustration. Simply use the information with this write-up and you will obtain the auto you would like with a very good cost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *