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Why I Prefer the Journey Rather Than the Prize

July 18, 2009

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    July 27, 2009 7:48 am

    This is brilliant! If it’s cool with you, I might use the image on an upcoming blog post–creds to you of course.

    I’m wondering if you experience that there are many people who are in it for the medal and NOT the journey? As a race director, I see this from elite teams at a time when I would love to see the teams who ARE in it for the journey succeed with a medal.

    In the midwest, there are three different clubs that I know of that have similar problematic teams with politics that are so childish, I cannot even believe it.

    Thanks for the reminder that it’s about the work and the experience and not the umpteenth medal to hang on the wall.

  2. paddlesports permalink*
    July 27, 2009 8:00 am

    Megan, I’m cool with using the image (it’s actually not mine – I generated it from

    As to your question about journey or medal, I must admit that a lot of people are stuck on getting the medal or getting on the podium. As a coach and an athlete, these should be goals but not ultimate goals that decide your worth as a person or athlete.

    For me, the medal is pointless – it ultimately goes on a hook in the garage or I give it away to a little kid I see at the race.

    IMO, having the medal/podium as your ultimate, all determining goal sets you up for failure when so many lessons can be learned from NOT finishing with a medal. What a pity if these lessons are ignored.

    What determines who you are is how you prepare and how you perform in relation to what YOU can do.

    That being said, if you do everything you are supposed to do, you have the talent, prepare properly, and let things fall in place, you have increased your chances of the podium finish.


  3. Megan permalink
    July 28, 2009 6:04 am

    Love it. Actually, quite fitting for the meeting I have tonight with a new team that I am coaching for the first time. Appreciate the insights from a clearly accomplished athlete.

    One thing I would add if you compete with honor for your team, your sport, and your competitors, you will be rewarded.

    And tell that paddler of yours with the broken paddle that it’s time for a Kialoa. 🙂

  4. paddlesports permalink*
    July 28, 2009 6:43 am

    Great point, Meg. Honor is a trait I look for in those I choose to surround myself with – both on and off the boat.

    I always encourage paddlers to try out the Kialoa dragon boat paddle but some prefer full carbon. Hopefully, a Kialoa full carbon arrives soon!

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