Regret is a Gamble

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” (Lucille Ball). Life demands a fine balance between optimism and pessimism. Overconfidence can lead to poor choices and uncalculated risk taking, ending in disaster. Overly cautious, pessimistic behaviour leads to procrastination and fear avoidance. This is what makes so many of us chose the careers and lives that are safe. It makes us risk adverse and  imprisons us within our comfort zone because it’s safe, but it is impossible to achieve progress by living cautiously. Any progress is dependent on the interaction of risk taking and conservative pessimism.regretThese two approaches describe the mindset people bring to their relationships, work and life. Sport is no different. In any sport it becomes clear early in the game whether an athlete or team is playing to win or just trying not to lose. When playing not to lose the focus is not on what can be gained by winning  but rather on protecting what has already been achieved.  When playing to win all effort is channeled into creating chances, breaking new ground and taking opportunities.  It requires putting what is already accomplished at risk for the sake of something bigger, something better. It’s about trading the safety of the known for the uncertainty of a indefinite future. It takes courage because it involves risk.

A missed opportunity, the regret of something you didn’t do results in “what ifs”, and this pain seems to linger longer than the regret of trying something and failing. As painful as they are the regrets of failed attempts spur us on to future success. Regret is an inevitable consequence of life, but yet  entire lives are mapped out in an attempt to avoid it. Overthinking decisions, “paralysis by analysis” or even worse decisions are avoided all together.  Running is no different …… the worst experience of a run is always better than the remorse of not trying.  Do things, try run 5km or even a marathon, rather than be left wondering. You don’t have to run a marathon or a sub 5:00 minute mile to be part of the running community. A runner isn’t someone who has fancy running gear and an expensive GPS watch. You don’t even have to participate in races to be a runner. It’s simply the motivation and drive to get outside and put one foot in front of the other, no matter how slowly you go. You just have to lace up your shoes and RUN.  You’ll never regret going for a run, but you’ll always regret not going!


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