One of my favorite Instagram posts by five-time Olympian, Allyson Felix:
“When I line up for a race I’m normally afraid. Of course, I’m always a little nervous, but if I’m honest I’m afraid.
I’ve never been afraid of my competitors, I’m willing to race whoever whenever. In the past I’ve lost major races to people who have gone on to test positive and again if I’m honest, I knew they had an unfair advantage before I lined up next to them, but I’ve never been afraid of them and I won’t be afraid of my future
I’m not afraid of losing. I lose much more than I win. That’s life and I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’ve found that I learn more from my losses and that I have gained much more value in the journey toward a goal than achieving that goal. I’ll lineup, I’ll give my best and I will either win or lose and that doesn’t scare me.
I’m afraid of letting people down. Of letting myself down. I hold myself to such high standards and I’m realizing as I’m sitting here the night before my final individual Olympic final that in a lot of ways I’ve let my performances define my worth. I’ve been afraid that my worth is tied to whether or not I win or lose. But right now I’ve decided to leave that fear behind. To understand that I am enough.
I’m not sharing this note for me. I’m sharing it for any other athletes who are defining themselves by their medal count. I’m writing this for any woman who defines her worth based on whether or not she’s married or has kids. I’m writing it for anyone who thinks that the people you look up to on TV are any different than you. I get afraid just like you, but you are so much more than enough. So take off the weight of everyone else’s expectations of you. Know that there is freedom on the other side of your fear. Go out there and be brave with your life because you are worthy of your dreams.” Allyson Felix