Tag: success

DNF is Not a 4 Letter Word

For those of you who do not follow me on facebook you might not be aware of the recent drama in my life.  It started in the summer when my new friend Tanya and I started training together.  She was new to open water.  New to swimming in fact.  She is a student of my friend Kate who is a fabulous swim instructor for adults.  She’s introduced so many people to swimming and open water over the years and has helped me tons with my own stroke.

In July Tania mentioned to me that she wanted to prepare for a race but didn’t feel she would be ready for Deer Creek in August.  The next obvious choice was to take the trip out to Slam the Dam in Las Vegas at the beginning of October.  I have done this race in 2011 and it was a lot of fun.  I figured why not?  (I had signed up last year but various dramas kept me from attending).

So the training began and we got to blackridge pond as often as we could and we both saw improvement.  More importantly we had fun and became dear friends.

Tania and me.
Tanya and me.

Tanya is honestly good for my ego because she thinks I’m such a good swimmer.  I love to swim but pretty much always know I’m the slowest girl in the room and I’m ok with that.  I get the job done and that’s all that matters to me.  I’ve told Tanya repeatedly over these weeks ‘this is a hobby.  If it isn’t fun you are doing something wrong’.

That said, I’ve had nagging doubts about my abilities all along.  With my back and other chronic pain I haven’t been able to train as hard as last year, it was frustrating for me to feel like I wasn’t the swimmer I was just a few months ago.  These anxieties were made worse by the realization of a strict time limit at Slam the Dam.  For some unknown reason the park service would only give them until 11 am and then everyone has to be done.

This only gives the 1.2 mile swimmers 1 hour to swim.  The organizers have told me it is ‘plenty of time for a swim’ but they don’t understand or aren’t interested in nurturing new/nontraditional athletes.  My best time on a 1 mile swim is 53 minutes. At Deer Creek my time was 1 hr 2 minutes for 1 mile.

To make matters worse they sent out an email last week saying “If you are not adequately prepared mentally and/or physically, do not race”  What does that even mean?  I’m not mentally prepared for life let alone a race.  I mean who feels adequately prepared for something so monumental?  I bet if you asked Michael Phelps he’d tell you things he wished he’d done or worked harder on.  To me this was baffling and kind of mean-spirited. (and I begged for some kind of an accommodation but no go)

They have also made it clear that you will be pulled from the water if you go over time, which I’m ok with but I just wish the time limit didn’t exist.  It honestly makes me sick inside.  Sick for my friend.  Sick for me.  Sick for all the other new swimmers who will be discouraged from participating.  A side of me wants to throw in the towel and not make the effort to drive out there and be humiliated…

But where’s the victory in that? I’d say there is about a 50/50 chance depending on weather, current, course, strength, stroke etc that I finish the race.  My GSL time after all was 1 hr 24 minutes so not even close to the cut off time because of the strong current. (Thank you Utah races for not having a time limit or at least a strictly enforced one).

50/50…so I either succeed and have a triumphant moment or I get a DNF (Did Not Finish).  Even now there is a side of me that shudders when I say those words.  It is so outside of my nature to not finish, and yet isn’t it always a possibility in any endeavor?  At least anything worth doing can be a success or failure?

The funny thing is  the ingredients are nearly the same for a finish and a DNF- both have training, goal setting, driving, racing, happy friends and lots of people who say to me ‘I could never do that’.  The only difference is me and my pride.  Kind of silly…

I love what JK Rowling says about failure. ” It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default”

I don’t want to fail by default.  For me a DNF will be a DNQ (Did Not Quit)

swimmingHow do you guys deal with DNF’s and potential failures in your goals?  Its especially hard when it is so outside of your control.  What are your strategies?

I can definitely promise you this- I will not be swimming Slam the Dam again anytime soon.  If they only want athletes with a specific set of skills than they have got it.  This will be the last year myself or my blog are involved.  Too bad really…

I’ve gotten some great encouragement on facebook from the swim forums.  Thanks everyone!

Success

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

Bill Cosby

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan

Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching.

Tennessee Williams

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.

Dale Carnegie

Ok.  So clearly this post is on success.  Its something that’s been on my  mind after a discussion with a friend of mine.  She was an inspiration to me to lose weight and get in shape.  She’s lost significant weight from her height and runs in 5k’s, has a trainer and is in my mind a complete success.   In fact, she’s enough of a success to be an inspiration, years ago. The interesting thing is when I was speaking with her she seemed to believe her journey was just starting, that she still had so much to lose, so much to achieve fitness-wise.  I’m not saying she felt like a failure but not as the finisher I saw.

It made me wonder if some people look at me that way, like I am a diet success when honestly I see failure a lot of the time?  Or at least mediocre success in my self-defeating moments.   Its just I thought I would be so much further along after 3+ years than I am.  I thought it would be so much easier (and honestly that’s a good thing or I would never have made the attempt.

Of course, that is only in my weak moments that we all have and then I quickly remind myself of how far I’ve come.  I certainly couldn’t have planned for chronic pain, eye surgery, thyroid problems, panic attacks, falling down a flight of stairs ect….

Still, it just made me wonder if people look at me and see something that I don’t see in myself.  See a success that I don’t get.  Do you ever wish you could be a fly on the wall and see the world as others see you?  Perhaps it would be terrifying but maybe not!

I guess that’s the nice thing about a blog.  It’s kind of a chance to be a fly on the wall and put yourself out there for the world.  I know all I can do is keep trying, doing my best, removing distorted thoughts as much as possible and setting new goals. That’s it!

Honestly the only thing that I really feel truly successful about are my friendships, my blog and my swims.  Everything else could use improvement and I’m Ok with that. Keep trying, keep moving forward.

Thoughts?  What means success to you, and who do you look at as successful?

Success in Work

“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”

Harvey MacKay

I know I talk  a lot about work in this blog but that is partly because work is the biggest part of my life as far as time and effort.  I would love to say it is church (that’s the second) or family but sadly it is not the case.  Especially lately I’ve been working Saturdays, Sundays, all day every day.  It’s a good thing I love my work or it would be unbearable.  Even so it can be a bit overwhelming.  I think finding balance in life is the hardest thing and I for one am not good at it.

With so much time devoted to work you can understand why finding success in it is so meaningful to me.  In many ways my work is my great passion and it feels so good to accomplish my goals at work.  Recently there are two instances I will mention.  First, I was the manager for the Grabber Warm Team at the International Sportsmen’s Expo in Sandy.  This was a huge event that went on for 4 days (how ironic is that I am working at an event for outdoor sportsmen.  God must have had a good laugh at that one!)  Due to the long days I brought in reinforcements including my uncle Jim, Ashlee Emig and her friend Megan. We each worked blocks of time trying to make sales and give out free product.   Even though I worked less hours than anybody else on the floor I still lead in sales income!

I honestly believe that salesmanship is one of those gifts that you are either born with or not.  You have to have a killer instinct and an ability to read people for their likes, dislikes, needs and wants.  A look, a comment can be enough to point them to a product they would otherwise miss out on.  I am fortunate enough to be a good saleswoman both in managing the rental properties and selling warmers.  I don’t want to toot my own horn but I think I have a way with people and can easily build a repertoire with them.

The Expo was exhausting but very satisfying.  All of the salespeople worked very hard and we ended up beating our sales goal by over $300 and giving out 18 cases (over 8,000) samples.  Not bad!

The second success I’ve had lately is in my rental business. Up to this point my rental clients have included my dad (4 homes- long term and vacation rental) and Brian Matthews (him and his family used to be our ward).  As I’ve had a lot of my plate it has been difficult recruiting other clients.  Fortunately my friend Emily Whitman mentioned my management services to her friend Michelle who gave me a call a couple of weeks ago.  After some discussion she agreed to hire me to manage her condo in Provo.  This made me so excited because I would love to get into the Provo market and expand my client-base.  Last Wednesday I posted an ad for her place on craigslist, at BYU housing, and on KSL Classifieds.  By Friday I had 3 appointments set up and believe it or not the first appointment fell in love with the place.  I just left a meeting with them where they paid their deposit and first month rent and signed the contract!  It took me under a week to find tenants for this place! Wahoo!  I am excited and a little proud of my efforts.  It just feels good to have such success.

Finally, the last piece of success I’ve had lately is I was made a full-time employee by Grabber Inc.  I was already doing 30 hours most weeks.  Now it is official.  I have even been made salaried and will receive benefits (don’t worry I’ve already made an appointment to see a doctor on Friday!).  It is a little overwhelming to have so many responsibilities but exciting also.  I know I can do it!

Growing up I never felt like I was great at anything.  I knew I was good at a lot but never felt great.  Finally at 29 I feel great at something (at a lot of things really) and that feels GREAT!!  Thanks for letting me share my excitement with all of you!  I have the best support and friends in the world.  I hope you all have such success and find something in life that you LOVE to do- something you are great at too!

Successful Renting!

Hurray! Yeah!  Super great! I have a simple post today.  One that doesn’t take too many words.  It is merely an exclamation of gratitude for a little success come my way.

I know I am a successful woman just for being me and living a good life but sometimes it feels good to have real concrete business success.  Today I had some!  As I mentioned in earlier posts I have been working hard lately on a variety of projects including managing 4 vacation rentals, finding long-term rentals for 2 of the homes, receiving training for sales tax work with Grabber, scheduling Grabber events, finding tenants for client with 25 properties, and trying to keep the maintenance and yard work up on the four properties.  Now I have not been alone in these various projects, but in the end the responsibility has been mine.  I have been working every day- even Saturday and Sunday.

It is because I have been working hard that today feels especially great.  It looks like I have found a long-term tenant for two of the homes! The second one has been tentatively reserved, and My dad will be making the contract and finalizing the deal in the next few days.  In addition, we had lowered the price from $2100 to $1950 but seeing the competition this tenant offered the rate of $2100! In this economy to be getting more for anything in real estate is pretty amazing!  This rate does not include utilities which are worked out with my dad.

Both families who are signing long-term contracts with us are fantastic.  They have kids, have good references and experience renting.  I think they will love the neighborhood and be happy in their new homes.  It’s funny because with 7 of my family members living up there (my uncle Jon and Aunt Carol, my uncle Tom and Aunt Jodi, my cousin Anne and her husband, and my Uncle Jim) they will probably hear more about me than I them.  I will certainly be aware quickly if any problem behaviors develop with the tenants.  (I have heard every landlord horror story over the last few weeks).

There is always the potential for problems, but I don’t anticipate any.  I am confident in the character and values of our tenants, and I think  I am doing a good thing finding them a house.  I wish I had houses for everyone who needed them.  I have given tours to at least 1o people in recent weeks and they all seemed very interested. In fact, I had 2 scheduled for tomorrow if things hadn’t come through. Someday I will hopefully be in a position as a property manager to find houses for all of them!

I don’t think there are many people who find 2 tenants for large properties before they even get their real estate license! I plan on taking my real estate classes starting in September, and  I will be able to start my new career as a property manager boasting success others can not match.  Plus, I will have the other work to stabilize my economics as I get things going.

The future looks bright and exciting! I know I will have to keep working hard, but a little success feels good.  With the crazy summer I have had- I need a little success.  The funny thing is I am not making any additional money with this sale, but I don’t really care.   It just makes me happy because I know what the success will do for me later on. The potential is great and thrilling!

In the meantime, I intend to work hard and put my faith in God.  I know any success is truly His and not mine. Hopefully days of success like this will keep coming! For now, I intend to let the little I have soak in.

success_key