Is “mediocre” ever “Good Enough”?

This post has been rambling around in my head for a few weeks.. Looking over some of my race results this year –I am mortified. No big breakthroughs in speed. No great accomplishments in distance. Nothing exemplary to report. After reviewing my lackluster results, I started to think about other sports I like to do.

I enjoy mountain biking, but I really suck ass. I mean, I am awful. I walk down hills a lot, I fall always, I whine, I always want to stop and take a drink from my camelbak or eat some Shot Blocks.

Although I’ve been road biking longer than mountain biking, I might be even worse at that. My speed never gets better. I’m always a back of-the-pack person; so much so that I’ve stopped riding with other people because it is so humiliating. People who just started to ride 2 months ago are WAY faster than me. I used to blame it on a variety of things—my 650cc wheels;
my lanky body type (long legs/long levers/little power); my dad’s smoking as a kid screwed up my lungs; my missing glute muscle. (yes on my right side one of my muscles is so atrophied it is almost non-existent—this was the reason for so many of my early running injuries).

Finally, there is swimming. Let’s get real. Indian people aren’t good swimmers. We sink. We flail. We suck.

I am trying to accept the fact that I just kind of suck at sports. Unfortunately, for me, I chose to spend my spare time doing physical activities. “For Fun” I convinced myself. Maybe I should have stuck with doing algebra or IT support.
The thing is, people always expect me to be really good at these things. I am 5’2” and 112 lbs. I’m small, somewhat lean and I have long legs for my height. People see me and say, “Wow you must win running races, huh?”
Uh, no.

“You are probably a fast biker since you are so small—you can probably climb like a goat.”
Uh, no. Actually, husband passes me on uphills –and he is peddling with only one leg.

“Wow, look at your shoulders and back muscles! You must be a good swimmer!!!”
Uh, no. Only if I am matched against a kid with swim floaties on. And that kid still might beat me.

So can I accept the fact that I am mediocre and probably always will be so? Will mediocre be “good enough” for my psyche, my ego, my self-esteem?
All of these thoughts came to a pin-point when I ran into someone just starting out in triathlon. He signed up for a half ironman. This is his first triathlon in 30 years.

He is faster than me as a runner, a cyclist, and swimmer.
He is 20 years older than me. “Geezer Division” he called it.
He kept asking me my race times from my last triathlon, my last road races, etc. It was embarrassing for me and he was (I could tell) shocked at my slow paces.
I want to say that I am “OK” with my paces since I am doing sports for the long haul. I want to be the 90 year old woman still running. I plan to simply outlive my competition. Sure they might be faster now, but when we are 80 they will be dead or drooling into their gruel while I am still jogging across finish lines.

That’s the plan anyway.
I’m not sure if it is good enough for me now though. I’m not sure if my ego can make it to age 80.


  1. I guarantee that kid in the swim floaties would kick my ass at swimming.
    I am definitely looking forward to the days when I win my age at every race just because everyone else my age is dead. Sa-weet!

  2. This is so true! I am not the fastest runner. I will probably never win my a.g., even B.Q. That doesn't matter to me. I want to leave a legacy for my kids to never quit. I want to be that 80 year old woman running races. Maybe then, I can win my age group :)

    1. I am completely with you on that one! I want to be old and crotchety.... and still running.


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