The Dog Wins.

“If I have given my all and still do not win, I haven’t lost. Others might remember winning or losing. I remember the journey.” ~Apolo Anton Ohno

To be the best in the world someone has to be second best.

If she wins gold, that means I didn’t.

And that makes me what?

A loser?

What do we call a silver medalist?

Or a finalist?

Are they...losers?

Does what they “lost” outweigh what they’ve won?

I am so tired of the label: “winners and losers”

Based on an arbitrary set of expectations

So tired of “winning” so often being defined as the level at which a person achieves temporary satisfaction of the ego.

But when I was in Los Angeles on Monday listening to one of my favorite authors, Rob Bell, speak he told us a story about a cheetah and a dog.

Stay with me…that was random as hell. I know.

There’s a cheetah run at the San Diego Wildlife Park

It’s a long stretch of grass, a straight track more or less, fenced on both sides for spectators.

A toy is attached to a tether.

The tether is dragged down the track at top speed.

But then a DOG chases it. 

A lumbering, smiling, happy, not-nearly-as-fast-as-a-cheetah dog chasing a toy down this track.

He’s happy as hell.

And slow AF.

Then it’s the cheetah’s turn. 

And it is beauty in motion. 

An amazing vision. 

A blur of fur and spots.

But the dog.

That happy effing dog...

That nobody came to see, 

smiling the entire time, 

happy to be alive, 

tongue out, 

tail wagging...





The hearts of everybody.

Not with some rare display of grace, or speed.

But because this dog

This normal, domesticated creature we see and live with every day

Went out there

Ran as fast as he could

The best he could

And was happy to do it.

And was happy WITH it.

And that resonates with a lot of us, because we all can’t or won’t do spectacular shit, we’re not going to “win” all the things people think we should win.

Winning won’t look to us like other people think it should.

And this was where my head was on Monday when the idea started to percolate within me that there was no price too high to pay for my freedom.

I was beginning to feel strongly that I was done with this divorce process and that I could somehow mentally get to a place where not getting even a slice of what I’ve earned during the time I was married paled in comparison to not needing to fly to Tampa for appearances that barely move the process forward, but sets the finances back.

On Tuesday, I decided that I was done. That I was going to sit through the deposition on Thursday, answer the questions I was asked and that after it was over I was going to tell my attorney I didn’t want to play the back and forth game anymore, that I was done. And that I was okay with what that meant…

Much to the dismay of the people close to me. But they understood.

Thursday arrived. I’m deposed for about four hours. I answer the questions asked. 

Afterward I sit with my attorney. I tell her that I want to be done. That I am done. She says maybe take a day, think it over, sleep on it. Take just one more day. I say ok, but I’m confident that I feel largely content and at peace with my decision. 

We walk out of the private meeting room...


I’m served.

With a lawsuit.

For defamation, libel, slander.

Seeking $500k in damages.

Selected Instagram posts, blog entries, and interviews fill the suit as examples of times I allegedly defamed him.


Within a short distance, from the door of the private meeting room to the reception area, I went from being ready to settle for nothing in order to walk away from this ordeal with signed divorce papers…


There is no way I’m going to walk away from this.

No way I won’t stand up for myself.

For the truth.

No way I will let this part of my life be dismissed as: 

“manufactured and published so as to avoid stating the truth about the Defendant’s status, which was that she simply quit her marriage to have a relationship with another man.

Using claims of abuse in the current cultural climate would create the perfect environment for someone not to challenge her veracity but as shown herein they were just false and defamatory statements pertaining to the Plaintiff and nothing more.”


Hell no.

And so…

I will take this on as well.

In addition to supporting and empowering young athletes with my “Why You’re Not a Track Star” Crash Courses.

Producing more resources to feature on my website

And training full-time to take my shot at making another world championship team this season.

One foot in front of the other.

Constantly reevaluating what it means to win.

Because I’m not the cheetah in this story.

I’m more like the dog…

trying to go about the pursuing of my dreams

trying to give it the best effort that I have

so that I can be satisfied with whatever comes.

Blogger’s Note: If you’re one of those people who send me messages about how you can support me, or what you can do to help this note is for you. Sharing my blog posts, making purchases in The Locker Room at, registering for my crash course coming to a city near you, or donating directly to my legal defense here are all ways you can. Thank you.

And if you’re curious, here’s a summary of the case filing. The quote within the body of this blog post was taken directly from the filed complaint.

Tianna Bartoletta3 Comments