Blame Game: Taking Responsibility
38“I didn’t have the legs for the distance today…The team did everything I asked of them and raced really aggressively – they were a little too good for my form.” Cadel Evans, Pro Cyclist
Even in a loss, this sort of self-effacing stewardship of one’s circumstances is memorable and respectable. A good test of character is behavior when wrong or not a winner. This character forms the basis of confidence and demonstrates a realism that propels the tough work of achievement.
It’s true that stuff happens in bike racing that can be blamed on the weather, another rider, and countless external variables beyond control. A rider in peril who missed the podium but doesn’t blame team or a flat and simply takes responsibility is classy. Further, that rider sets up success by focusing on the root causes of results. If poor fitness is the real issue but a rider blames “that hack” who took the inside line, progress will never be made. Instead, train to overcome the hacks prior to the critical corners or learn to navigate through them by becoming more skilled.
Study a dominant winner and note that circumstances rarely hinder. In the same race on the same day, this rider avoided the crash that “caused” your result to be blown. This winning rider seemed unaffected by the hail or the dog on the course or the repeated attacks or the lack of adequate hydration. The winner nailed the details, prepared for the event, and created opportunities for safety and strategic success.
Probably this same champ didn’t take credit for the win but “blamed” the team’s support, or a good venue, or outstanding conditions that favored strengths, or mentioned the noteworthy competitive efforts of peers.
Nearing season’s end, the blame game becomes more of a focus than the racing for some. These are the n’er do wells who are just shy of a result worth reporting and therefore go unnoticed. These are the naysayers who are unable to realistically assess reasons for failure.
We’ve all been there, we’ve all done this. On the season’s back stretch, this is the Time to Repent. There’s a straight-away before we finish, where all can be redeemed and rewards await.
Prayer to Take Responsibility
“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’” 39II Samuel 12:13
We confess our fears, failures, laziness, and screw-ups. Have mercy.
Ponder How many excuses have I proffered for poor performance? Affirm I blew it, and I can bear the consequences. Watch what happens next time when you do better if you confess the real cause!
38“Cadel Evans of Silence-Lotto Loses His Legs in Liege, But His Tour de France Goals Remain Intact,” by Justin David posted April 27, 2008 on http://www.bicycle.net
39The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society