“Second is the first loser.”
It’s a common saying in sports. You hear it during playoff time in the major sports a lot. You sometimes hear it at races. Essentially, it’s all over the place.
The problem? It’s not true. If it were, we’d all be losers far more often than not.
If you think of the all or nothing world that many sports commentators like to think about, this saying makes a lot of sense. If you’re not the champion, what are you? Just another loser. But let’s be honest. It’s not that simple.
To take an example outside of running, I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan. For anyone who doesn’t follow Major League Baseball, the Brewers had a very good season that surpassed pretty much everyone’s expectations.
Very few expected them to win their division. That was for the Chicago Cubs.
A few more might have thought they would make the playoffs but anyone who thought they would make it that far thought they would be an easy out for the high powered Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers.
Yet they beat the Cubs in a thrilling end of the regular season to win the division. They then looked like world beaters in getting past the Colorado Rockies. They then faced the Dodgers. Sadly for this Brewers fan, they didn’t get past the Dodgers but they were not an easy out. They took the Dodgers to the edge, had a chance to win the series, and only lost the series 4 games to 3.
I’m sure they are frustrated with how the season ended because they were so close to the World Series and a chance to do something this franchise has never done before but I hope they don’t feel like losers. They are winners. They far surpassed expectations and gave their fans a thrilling ride in the process.
What does this have to do with running? Chances are you were not first in your last race. That doesn’t mean you were a loser in that race, though. Did you accomplish or exceed your goal? If so, ignore those who say second place is the first loser. Instead, proclaim yourself a winner.