Being willing to fail

April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

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I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about my brother

Who lost over 250 pounds before me

The one who took off a week from work to fly out here and stay with me when I had weight loss surgery

Who sat right there in the chair next to my hospital bed for 3 days until I was released

The one who was told a few years ago by his doctor that  he was going to die because of his weight

And all the co-morbidities it was bringing with it

And then he took that diagnosis and turned it into a fire that burned within

Which became a passion that fueled him to change his life

And now continues to burn for the lost…the rest of us who need that same hope

He comes out to see me every few months

And he works with those of us finding our way out of the dark

He’s 48 years old but age is just a number to him

Not an excuse

 

Here is a recent text message conversation we had

Lee

FYI. I’m running in the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in the morning.

I will send some pics.

They are super hardcore about not allowing a pace below a 14 min mile.

They check at 5 mile mark and even after I will probably get “swept” by Park Police truck and therefore not allowed to finish–because my training has not been adequate due to recurring calf injury and bronchitis

BUT I decided to try and do my best anyway.

Fear of failure keeps people on the sideline.

Sometimes you have to just do your best

Fail and be ok with that

Practice hard

Try again

 

Me

Wow this is awesome! Good luck!

 

Lee

Getting ready to go to bed.

It won’t be so awesome when I get “swept” by the pace police and get my first DNF on a race lol

But have to embrace the failure in the victory of trying

 

……..THE NEXT MORNING…..

 

Lee

Walking to event area 

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Getting ready to start

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Me

Good luck!

 

….AND A FEW HOURS LATER…..

 

Lee

Sometimes you face the fear of failure and…..

 

YOU WIN!!

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I finished the 10 miles and got my medal.  Stayed just ahead of the pace police

My legs are packed in ice and I can barely walk but I took the risk and now can add a medal!

 

Me

Yeah!! I am so excited about this!!

 

Lee

Me 2 really.  It’s  a significant accomplishment especially since I couldn’t adequately train.

The win was being willing to do something that’s almost a guaranteed fail

I can barely walk because I’m so sore

But it’s way better than being able to barely walk because I weigh 450 pounds

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I thought I’d share those text messages and pictures with you because it’s the kind of thing that I draw inspiration from.

My brother always inspires me and teaches me that being willing to fail is actually a skill we need!

I know it sounds crazy but the truth is that if you aren’t willing to fail

You can’t win!

And sometimes the WIN isn’t coming in first place

Maybe it’s staying ahead of the pace police

And that’s OK

Sometimes we fail

Sometimes we win

But either is better than never starting at all

Or laying on the couch with a bag of Doritos because you think you’ll never be able to do it

And when you weigh 450 pounds starting any diet at that point is almost a guaranteed fail

When you’ve failed every other time

So why not just give up right?

OR….

Why not be willing to fail?

Because being willing to fail is a skill you must acquire before you can walk up to the starting line

AND GIVE IT A TRY

 

Because this man, my brother, was 450 pounds and could barely walk

Congestive heart failure

Diabetes

Sleep Apnea

On Oxygen

And anything he tried was almost a guaranteed fail

But then he decided to embrace the possibility of failure in the victory of trying

He took the first step

And that first step turned into 10 Miles!

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You can follow Lee on Twitter if you like 🙂

 

 

 

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Staci April 18, 2012 at 4:05 am

Wow, I needed to hear that tonight. I feel like I have been such a failure for so long. But by being a “failure” I have maintained a 20-lb loss for 7 months now. If I had just quit, I would’ve gained instead of maintained. Putting yourself out there to fail really can be a blessing sometimes. 🙂 Thanks for the pep talk (that I just gave myself, I guess). LOL
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Exactly Staci!! And not gaining is an accomplishment in its own right!!!! Even gaining and losing same 5 pounds is better than gaining all the weight back!
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Faith April 18, 2012 at 4:22 am

Your brother is just as much of an inspiration as you are, Holly. 🙂 I know you are proud of him, just as he is of you (as we all are of you). Another great post that keeps me from reaching for a snack that I’m not even hungry for.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Thanks Faith!! And I know what you mean about reaching for a snack you aren’t hungry for! Story of my life lol !!
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Lap band gal April 18, 2012 at 4:53 am

Amazing inspiration!! How did he lose the weight?

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Lap band followed by a major commitment to exercise and a victory list like the one I posted other day!
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Amanda April 18, 2012 at 5:04 am

That is such a beautiful story. The best inspiration comes from those we love. 🙂
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm

True!!
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Steph April 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

So great for your brother and so great you have him to inspire you:)

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Thanks Steph!
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Linda Kuil April 18, 2012 at 10:51 am

Holly! Awesome post! Are you on Pinterest? There are SO many inspirational and motivational pins that pertain to this exact topic. This is for your brother: “”Dead Last Finish” is greater than “Did Not Finish,” which trumps “Did Not Start.”” “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!” and “Strive for progress, not perfection.” It’s that all or nothing mentality that makes us stumble EVERY time. Congratulate your brother for me!!! That metal probably is more valuable than any gold watch or flat-screen tv to him!!!!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Love it Linda!!! Pinterest is awesome and I live the ones you just said!!!
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Lady Amanda April 18, 2012 at 10:54 am

That is very interesting about the pace police. I never knew they existed. Thanks for writing about that. Very interesting. Congrats to Lee on a job well done. And congrats to you on another great blog entry.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I never knew that either about the pace police!!
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Chaundelle Burch April 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm

What an incredible inspiration! And an important lesson for all of us to learn, regardless of our age.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Thanks!!
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Trish @I_am_Succeeding April 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Holly that is such an encouraging thing!! Thank you for sharing and way to go Lee!!!!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Thanks Trisha!!
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Willow April 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm

God bless you brother. You both are sn inspiration. Go Lee.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Thanks Willow! Love your name 🙂
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Debbie April 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Your brother needs to be a motivational speaker – I’m tearing up. (But that could just be hormones)
i’m feeling like a failure that I need to start taking anti anxiety meds again, I tried to fight it for so long and now i’m exhausted. But at least I tried.
What a wonderful man to have in your corner.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Oh Debbie I totally relate to this. I really do. Don’t feel that way at all. I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for several years now. And I have been on anxiety meds before in order to literally function. I also used some other things to help with the anxiety/panic but there was a time when I had to be on medication. Don’t feel that way at all. We need all the tools to work this out. I am praying for you b/c I understand how horrible that is to deal with!

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joy April 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

What an inspiration!! I saw the medal and started to cry. I know how hard it is to get that!! He did it and won!! So Awesome!!

Keep focused!

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Eleanor April 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

What an inspiration! Your brother sounds awesome. Definitely a keeper. 🙂

But you are right. Fear of failure keeps us from doing many things we want to do….that we should do. I like to say I have a fear monster on my shoulder, and every time I fail it feeds him. His big lie is that I never will win, and he uses my past fails to try to get me to concede to his logic. But truthfully, if someone says they have never failed at anything they are a HUGE liar. People win not because they never fail, they win because they kept trying in spite of failure. There are like a million failures to each win. The key is to not give in to the fails. Not to let the fear monster convince you his logic is correct. Because it’s not.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm

So true Eleanor. I like your analogy of the fear monster. And the lies he is feeding us. I fight this on a daily basis too. If he can get in our head then we are in big trouble. We must give him the smack down!!

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Courtney C April 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I never really thought of it that way, but it is absolutely true! Thank you so much for sharing such an encouraging message. 🙂
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Tina April 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

WAY. TO. GO. LEE. So inspiring! Didn’t you also say at some point he was a bandster? I love the concept of pushing yourself BEYOND your capabilities. So many times when exercising I have stopped because my head told me to, not my body really. If you fail, so what really…you tried and that takes GUTS. Great life lesson!

BTW, you are so good at this blogging thing…you should consider writing for magazines. Seriously. Not kidding.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Tina yes!! He is a bandster!! And he rocks that thing! Thanks for the sweet comments. You are awesome!

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Tina April 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I really wasn’t kidding about writing articles…you are really gifted and prolific…two things it takes to write a great article week after week….and you would get paid doing something you love….consider it. There are many more boring, less talented writers out there filling up the magazine shelves. I want to see you in print. (yes, I am pushy. At least it isn’t food!! 😉 )

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 20, 2012 at 3:13 am

Oh thanks Tina!! You have made my day again!

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Rae Rae J April 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I love it! You both are such inspirations!

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suzanne April 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm

What a wonderful brother/sister inspiration you guys are!!
And what’s great is that I think you push each other 🙂
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 12:26 am

Thanks Suzanne!

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Teri Carter April 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I want you to know that I walked because of you! You are an inspiration. As I am typing this my eyes are teared up. I ran into a member of my church (where I haven’t been in months) and told her if Holly can make it to the mailbox, I can make it around the block! My daughter and I had a nice chat and our dogs sniffed everything in sight. My daughter asks me to go with her to the park all the time but it is soooo boring for me. The walk around the block last night was wonderful a visit with someone I wouldn’t have seen otherwise we are planning to go again tonight even if it means missing survivor *gasp* did I say that? Yes Teri get your fat hiney off the couch and get out into the real world. I am so glad I found your blog via Draz. Thanks for…..well everything!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 12:26 am

Oh Teri you made my day!! That really made my whole day!! Thank you so much and I am so proud of you!! YAHOO! This is just totally amazing. AND…you have NO idea how much I love Survivor so I totally grasp the gravity of what missing it to walk would mean?! hahaha….You ROCK!

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Liz April 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

That is so awesome! Congrats to him! And yes, he is very right. It is better to try and fail than to not try at all. I think you are both lucky to have eachother, I am sure you inspire him too because I know you inspire me.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 12:25 am

Thanks Liz!

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Jane April 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I want a big brother like him! Thanks for sharing him with all of us. What a Champ!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 12:24 am

Thanks Jane!

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Brenda April 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Awesome! Just awesome! Such an inspiration. Sometimes, we have to fail, time and time again to learn what doesn’t work and to find what does. It is worth the risk. You are both amazing!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 12:24 am

Thanks Brenda!!

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Andrea April 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm

This is just awesome! After you visited me (thank you very much), I came over here, and have already scrolled back to find the beginning of your incredible journey. I think it might take me awhile to catch up, but I have a feeling it will be well worth it! Hooray for you and your brother!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 12:23 am

Thanks Andrea! Glad I found you too!!

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AimeeWrites April 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Woo hoo!!! Go, Lee!

I guess it’s human nature to apply other people’s stories to your own life…to see how you relate…to take away lessons. The fear of failure has always been huge within me. I don’t like to start something without knowledge that I will do it well and succeed. It’s a difficult thought process to push aside. Thank you SO much for sharing this!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 12:22 am

Thanks Aimee!! I totally relate to everything you said!

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Dawn April 19, 2012 at 12:15 am

This posting makes me think of a favorite story that I have carried in my travels since high school: You’ve failed many times, although you may not remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn’t you? Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot. R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs. Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. – Anonymous
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 12:20 am

Awesome!!!! Thanks so much for sharing this. How awesome!

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Kimberlynn April 19, 2012 at 4:45 am

I’ve had a hard day today and have thought about not doing my workout tonight…but now…thanks to you and your brother and your inspiring story of triumph…I’m going to get on my treadill and knock out a killer workout. Thanks Holly (and Lee)!!!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 19, 2012 at 4:52 am

Kimberlynn, YOU ROCK!!!!

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adorkbl April 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm

What a truly inspriational post. Thank you so much for sharing. I have been dragging ass and putting off getting back into working out. I NEEDED this post to get my butt into gear!!

Thank you, and thank you Lee.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 20, 2012 at 3:08 am

Thanks!!! And me too!!

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Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking April 20, 2012 at 3:13 am

Wow what an awesome brother you have. He sounds like he is such a blessing to everyone!!

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Wishful Shrinking April 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Both you and your brother are wonderful inspirations! I had my wls in May of 01, then my Mom had it in Oct of 02, then my little brother had his in feb 03, then my older had his in Jan of 04. My younger brother hit the ground running with the gym and he still has such a wonderful commitment to his health. I am not a fan of running so I do short course triathlons. I love the doable distances of a 400m swim, a 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run. Maybe its my ADD. I have done 4 in the past and I signed up for one this year. and I know that I will beat everyone that does get out of bed that day.
Thank you for your wonderful sharing!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Wow! This is simply amazing. Your whole family has done this together it sounds like and clearly you have done an amazing job by incorporating exercise. I mean doing a 400 m swim, 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run?? Unbelievable! My brother is doing a triathlon soon too. I am so inspired by you!

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Lynn September 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm

“I can barely walk because I’m so sore
But it’s way better than being able to barely walk because I weigh 450 pounds”

I need to put that in a cool font and post it up somewhere in my house.

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Gen November 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Yeah!!!!!! Congrats to Lee!
I’ve seen a pic that someone had posted on their FB page that went:
From Needing an Inspiration Picture…..to Being an Inspiration Picture

Kinda fitting for both of you I think 🙂
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