Is it worth it?
You put the time in and you lost. Maybe you didn't even get the chance to step on the floor. But you put blood, sweat, and tears into it. Do you think you wasted the time?
Sure, maybe you could have done something else with the time you put in. But if you were wanting to do something else, then why didn't you do it? I'll tell you why....you didn't because you WANTED to do this. You wanted to put the time in. You wanted to push yourself. You wanted to see just how far you could go. You loved the dream. You saw the goal in your head each and EVERY day.
It's easy to think that you wasted your time since the goal wasn't reached. But think of how much joy you had while you were doing it. You loved the feeling of pushing yourself beyond what you ever thought you could and seeing just how much you could take. You would lay on your back after a session staring at the ceiling with your chest heaving and sweat pouring from your body and thinking...."holy shit that was awesome! I never thought I'd be able to make it!" But you did. So yes, the GOAL may be the championship but each and every day you are there getting after it, you are involved in the championship. Because there is no way you can get the goal without putting the time and sacrifice into it.
As an older athlete, I have known years and years and years of training. And the most amazing thing about it is that when I am pushing, breathing hard, muscles burning, and feeling dizzy, I feel like I did when I was in my early 20's as a collegiate wrestler. THIS makes me feel young. It's my Fountain of Youth. No, I'm not as fast or as strong as I once was (well maybe I'm stronger but not faster hahah) but what, and how, I feel is exactly the same. It's magic! For those of you that feel like you may have wasted some time training for something, or studying for something, or sacrificing for something, remember that it is NEVER a waste.......even if you don't reach it. They say it's the journey rather than the goal. I believe that. You gain so much from pushing yourself beyond what you think is possible. And this is and will ALWAYS be worth more than the actual win because of everything you learn from it and everything you will, and will be able to do, in the future. It's NEVER a waste. EVER! :)