SIDE NOTE:
I wrote this post a little over nine years ago. . . and as I was cleaning up my OLD blog, I came across it and could not resist bringing it up again for others to read.

Life is not a vacation. . .why? Because vacations are all about the destination, and life is all about the journey. Sometimes it can take months to pick just the right destination to make a vacation successful. While we can certainly look at life as a destination, there’s no denying that the journey can have a much more lasting impact.

As many of you know, last weekend I competed in a bodybuilding competition for the first time in 22 years.  And yes, I trained every day with the destination in the forefront of my mind – winning.  Each day I went to the gym telling myself and anyone else who would listen, about how I was going there to win.  My focus. . . the destination.

What I learned from my experience. . .the destination wasn’t nearly as gratifying as the journey.  With each week of the journey I saw progress. With each week of the journey I was able to pat myself on the back, tell myself how good I was and remind myself of why I was doing this.  Each week others would also remind me of how much progress I was making.

Did I reach the destination that I had planned for. . .nope!  Truth is, the journey was so rewarding that the destination was just a stop along the way.  While fifth place isn’t the same as 1st place, I’ll take it.  And I look forward to getting the chance to do it again.

So was it wrong for me to think I was going to win…nope!  Nothing replaces hope.  I would never tell anyone to settle for less than what hope can bring.  So I didn’t win – maybe next time. . . what’s important is that I didn’t lose my hope for a next time.

I’m almost 52 years old, extremely happy with what I accomplished and can’t wait to do it again!  I showed up in the best shape I have ever been.  Wouldn’t change a thing.  Did this teach me a lesson? You bet. It re-enforced my belief that when you are happy with yourself others will be too.

As for my training partner, she walked away with a 2nd place and a 1st place!  It was my turn to enjoy the success of others, and that I did.  Kind of scary when I think about it, but watching those around us succeed can sometimes be more rewarding than our own success.

In looking back, I am absolutely convinced that the journey was the goal, not the destination.  I hope that my journey will inspire others to consider their own journey and enjoy the hell out of it!  Whether your journey is walking a couple of miles, your first triathlon, losing 5lbs, competing in your first bodybuilding competition, or making it to the next exercise class, don’t under estimate the impact the journey can have on your destination. . .it is definitely the best part.  The friends you make, and the accomplishments along the way; can keep you motivated for a lifetime.

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