I’m obviously not talking about my competition record.


But I am referring to my spirit.

I say this often, losing is inevitable but defeat is optional.

So much is happening (and not happening) in my life.

And every now and then, like last Saturday evening, I sit on the floor of a darkened room staring at nothing wondering if this is the thing that will break me.

The answer is always no.

But I allow myself the question.

Because at this point my life feels strangely and hilariously like an old school video game, where in order to level up you’ve got to beat the boss at the end.

And the boss can be anything. A situation, a person, whatever. It’s a metaphor.

But beating him will require all of your tricks and skills

and sometimes he kills you

Hell, if it’s me with the controller I already know I’m going to die several times

(you should see me playing Tomb Raider…poor Lara)

And I go back and restart the level from the beginning

Only this time I’m breezing through because I’ve been there, done that…

I’ve gotta little more confidence moving forward, I’m a little more savvy at the tricky parts.

Slowing up only to catch my breath before taking on the stage boss.

After so many “L’s” you’ve learned the dance, you know what the moves are, what the Boss’ tells are, you know when to feign left and go right, you know when to duck and when to jump. 

He smacks you back on your ass occasionally but you know you can roll away, hit a few buttons and be back in the fight.

And maybe he gets the best of you again…

But then again maybe he doesn’t…

Because you’ve learned so much about him and so much about yourself that you’re not even the same player anymore.

In fact, the level up you were fighting for has actually already happened…

the issue is that it didn’t happen in a way that was tangible or easily recognizable.

It didn’t come in the form of making the team and getting bonuses and more sponsors.

It didn’t show up as personal bests and diamond league invitations.

And because it didn’t…

you may think that you didn’t “level up” at all.

But the reality is, if you keep selecting “play again” you have

because with every new start

you bring more experience

more knowledge

more resolve

and more fight

and eventually you will get past that overweight-balding-bastard and his heartless minions whose entire purpose for being right now is to block you from moving on and moving up.

Losing is inevitable.

Defeat is optional.

So keep playing.