Inspiration Thursday: Success and Failure

The CriticI mentioned in my most recent post that inspirational quotes, and songs, and videos are a big part of my mental game.  A number of readers contacted me to ask what quotes and songs and videos.  So I’ve decided to dedicate Thursdays on this blog to talking about the stuff I’m using for inspiration on my journey.

Today I want to talk about the things that are helping me deal with possible success and possible failure.

I’m thinking about this recently because plane tickets have been purchased by me, my mom, and my Best Friend and his fabulous husband to come to Tempe for my Half IRONMAN is October.  (My partner is driving up and bringing all of my stuff – this sport requires a CAR full of stuff.  Dude.) It would seriously suck if my family took the time and expense to travel halfway across the country to comfort me after failing to finish.

Then today (sadly, like most days) I got a bunch of comments like this from internet trolls:

I don't see any way for you to finish
Interestingly I don’t publish my training schedule (a fact that seriously irks my trolls) so Irene has no way of knowing how much effort and training I’m investing, unless of course she is one of my numerous psychic trolls. But psychic or not they are there every day letting me know they hope I’ll fail, they know I’ll fail, they will celebrate my failure.

I’ve chosen a big goal (a little loftier than wishing failure on a perfect strangers over the internet), and that means that I could fail, and while I don’t relish the thought I don’t fear it, either.  This is also the midway test of my journey, so failing at this IM 70.3 would not suck nearly as much as failing at the full IRONMAN next year. (Recently I was asked in an interview about my fears for the IM and I said that one of my biggest fears is not finishing my IM and having to decide if I’m going to try again – that is a thought that drives me when I’m tired during my training.) This journey is psychological as well as physical and dealing with the possibility of failure is part of that.  So here are some things that help me with this:

Quotes of the week:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.  – Theodore Roosevelt  (yes, I truncated it, the last bit seems like that “lapping people on the couch” bullshit so I leave it off.)

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

Videos of the Week:

Song of the Week (with a little Hunger Games tribute thrown in for good measure)

If you want more stuff like this, feel free to check out my Pinterest Motivation Board Also, if there are quotes, songs, or videos that you find inspirational I would love for you to leave them in the comments!

About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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8 Responses to Inspiration Thursday: Success and Failure

  1. Heather Westerfelhaus says:

    I have faith in your ability to move the world. I’m cheering for you now & will be on that day. Remember that you have people all over the country who are cheering for you, even if we can’t go with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This might not be a good idea, depending on your personality type, but I would consider printing those nasty comments out and taking them with me. Every time you struggle but keep going you can say “F you!” to Irene or one of her friends.

    Good luck with the Ironman! It’s honestly something I’ve never even considered wanting to do, but I think it’s awesome that you’re doing it! You are a very strong woman, both physically and mentally, and I really admire you.


  3. M Paullet says:

    I could list a bunch of motivational quotes, but how about I share my Pinterest thread, instead?


  4. I love the Teddy Roosevelt quote you chose to share and it suits you so well in this half-IM and IM endeavour, as well as in all the amazing things you do on a daily basis. One of these troll’s best days (possibly before they were trolls) can’t even hold a candle to your worst day, insofar as how you have effected positive change in the world and made it a better place for all people. You are incredible, regardless of any IM. The fact that you’re training for IMAZ is one of the many awesome cherries on the Ragen Sundae or Tree or however you like your cherries 🙂


    • Lola says:

      Dear Ragen, I love the quote, too! Recently I was searching for one of your posts and accidentally came across some of your “internet trolls”, people who seem to dedicate a lot of time to following your endeavour and commenting on it in oh so many very hateful words… I cannot, for the life of me, understand what drives them – and they really think they “know” that you must fail etc. I can only say: if I get to choose between reading your witty, wonderfully encouraging and courageous posts (even if it were about a “failed” attempt on an Ironman – so what? – much better than never having tried!) and reading more of their idiotic spitefulwould comments, I’d choose your postings everytime. Hugs, Lola


  5. Oh and PS – sooooo amazing that your partner is driving all your gear down for you. I haven’t done any out of town events precisely because I can’t fathom the price of taking my gear with me on a flight!!!


    • I am super grateful to her for doing it, I’m flying in directly from a speaking gig on the East Coast and so not only would I have had to fly my gear, I would have had to fly my gear across the country and back!



  6. Jessica says:

    Doubt was THE HARDEST part of training for IMAZ for me. And I think for anyone, no matter how hard they trained. So much time and energy is put into the race that it’s hard to imagine not finishing. But my coach always told me that the race is just the celebration. The Ironman is actually done in the training. By working towards a 1/2 or a full you have accomplished something great, no matter the outcome of the race day. Hard to convince myself of this sometimes, but good to say out loud. Also know that nearly everyone, from novice to pro triathlete have had bad races and DNF’s. EVERYONE. And it sucks, and you mourn, but you move on. It’s part of being an athlete. So tell the trolls to fuck off. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite inspirational articles in Runner’s World. It reminds me that everyone is feeling this way, and that the bravery is in trying anyway.

    “the doubt is part of what you signed up for…if you wanted a guarantee, you wouldn’t have signed up for Ironman.” -Carrie Cheadle


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