It’s Who You Are

 Success; the accomplishment of an aim or purpose; a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.


Its what many people consider as winning. Winning = Success. Being the Best = Success.

To me Success = Goals Reached and All Given. No matter where you end up.

This week someone will be going for something that has only been done 13 times and has not been done in 36 years. Would it be success or failure if he didn’t do it?

If you guessed California Chrome winning the Triple Crown. You are correct.

It’s 1973 and Secretariat has won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. All thats left, Belmont Stakes. The longest of the three races. He was told over and over this would be the end. He could not last the distance. He could not run with both speed and stamina. He would be unsuccessful at this. However, a lady by the name of Penny Tweedy Chenery believed he could. She was right. In the most breathtaking race of his career Secretariat or “Big Red” won the Belmont by setting a record still held to this day, 31 lengths ahead and a time of 2:24 flat. Would you call this success or failure?

Success is what you make of it. Its giving all you have no matter the cost.

“This isn’t about going back, it’s about life being ahead of you and you run at it! Because you never know how far you can go unless you run.”  – Penny Tweedy Chenery

I’m sure Penny’s goal was for her horse to win. That doesn’t mean he would have failed though if he lost. Because to win you must give your all. I am sure win or lose he would have done just that. He would have left all he had on that track. He would not to most look like a “success” had he lost though. Even though he won 2 out of 3 races in great style. He would have looked like the horse who even though he gave his all could not last the distance. That would be okay though. Because that would be HIM. Not to make his wins at shorter distance any less great, it would just mean he wouldn’t be consider a distance horse. Its okay to not succeed in every area. We can enjoy succeeding in what we CAN win at. Of course, he did win and he did break records. Therefore, he is considered a success in more than one area.

Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. ~Winston Churchill

If California Chrome were to lose the Belmont and you compare him to Secretariat… He may look unsuccessful. If he wins but does not beat the record… He may look unsuccessful (to some). If he wins and breaks the record… He will be the most successful to this day. That is if you compare him to those around him. If you compare him to himself, he will always be successful. He will be him and he will do what he does. He will still be the horse that won two very hard races when he was worth “nothing” to start with. He won’t be the “almost” horse or the “he did it” horse in the end. He will be the horse his owners knew he was. The horse who gave it everything when it mattered. Wether its enough is up to others. Another horse may have a better day, but that does not make his day bad. He will have already done something many called “impossible”.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~Thomas A. Edison

I see this in agility too much. People are putting their dogs and themselves down and saying “we need lots more work” simply because they have not been named to a world team or won every run. Guess what, this isn’t about perfection. Its not about winning every run. Its about taking every moment and doing the best of what you have to give in that moment. We can always be better. We can always make ourselves look like a failure when we compare ourselves to those who are one step ahead. That doesn’t make me any less of a competitor though. It just means its not my day or time. If it never is, then I will still know I gave it all I myself had and that I did what I wanted. I lived for the current moment not what could be. 

I especially see this with young dogs. Sometimes we get blocked that they should be “perfect” like our older experienced dogs. We don’t give them a chance to find THEIR feet. When we do. It’s wonderful, that is your moment. That is YOUR time. Win or Lose that is when we know we did what was best and that is when we enjoy the game.

I believe Penny Tweedy Chenery lived by this thinking. She didn’t let the nay sayers tell her Secretariat couldn’t. She didn’t let the history slow her down. She lived in the moment with a horse that proved to her everyday that he could. Therefore, he did all he could for her. He didn’t know he was running in the biggest race of his life. He just knew he loved to run and run fast. He knew his jockey was letting him and he knew he could. So he ran.

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. ~Maya Angelou


Lets stop comparing our success and measure it by what we are capable of. Not what someone else is. I may not be able to run a marathon but that does not make me a less person nor does it make me a failure. Same as my dog may not always be able to Q or win but that doesn’t make him less of an agility dog. I simply may not have had that goal. Success is walking on and off the field with a healthy, happy self (or partner). Being totally sure you left nothing to waste and you left who YOU are on the field not someone else. Others can’t run your race for you nor can they make you a success or failure. Only you can do that. Only you can define that for YOU!

“It’s not the price
It’s not the game
It’s not the score
It’s not the fame
Whatever road looks way too far
It’s not what you have
It’s who you are

It’s not how fast
It’s not how far
It’s not of cheers
It’s who you are

In darkest night
You make your sun
You choose your race
And then you run

It’s never the glory
It’s never the score
It’s not about seeing about who’s less and who’s more
Cuz when you find out how fast and how far
You’ll know it’s not how much you have
It’s who you are” – AJ Michalka


3 thoughts on “It’s Who You Are

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