Boston Revisited

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Is it OK to be proud of a second place finish??

Friday night I got my plaque from the Dance-o-rama with all my little medallions pasted in their proper places.  This is part of the entry fee and it is does look nice.  The presentation was very, very low key.  The Body Double was going to give it to me on our lesson but forgot so it was kind of handed to me before group class.  Of course, she can’t really comment much because she wasn’t there and didn’t see anything and Z isn’t going to talk to me about it so it felt a little hollow.

There’s one part of me that can say that second place is just the last loser because winning is all that matters. After all, you don’t get a trophy for losing the Super Bowl or Wimbledon if you want to go with an individual event.  Horse racing has win, place and show but only the winner gets the roses.  And, let’s be honest, you’ve spent a lot of money going to this event and the Famous Franchise is going to do what they can to make you feel good so you can spend more money at future events.  So I don’t necessarily favor “participation” prizes.  And second could just be second of two which would really make it last.  (I was told that wasn’t the case here though).

On the other hand, I wasn’t in the best physical shape given my fall the weekend before the competition.  I was still trying to stretch out my leg in between heats and some of moves in the various dances were painful – especially the rise and fall in waltz.  And, my mental game wasn’t much better given that Z basically left me alone until it was time to dance so I was a bundle of nerves because my mind had too much to think.  Now, I saw the guys who finished ahead of me and, even on my best day, I wasn’t going to beat them.  So I’m not using this as an excuse but it is factual and why I’m still happy about how I did.  But happy isn’t proud.

Before this event, I was so freaked out about the Mambo.  I’ve told myself in the past that Rhythm dancing is not me and trying to get with the beat of the music and show some of the character of the dance is something I’ve said is very hard for me.  I’ve said bad things about Cuban motion in the past and I’ve also said that Mambo timing is just too weird for me.  And I’ve complained about having to keep up with the timing in Mambo which just feels insanely fast.

And yet, I sit here with seconds in Mambo – both open and closed.

Now, I wonder if maybe all the things I was saying to myself were just bullshit.  I was giving myself excuses and reasons to fail because I was afraid that would happen and this would soften the blow and make it OK.  I got hung up on what I thought I wasn’t and allowed that to define me.  What if I fail?  What if I didn’t?  Is second place a failure or a success??  What if I really CAN do this?  Maybe, Mambo is actually in my skill set and if it is there, then the other rhythm dances can’t be too far behind.  Maybe I can handle the freaky timing and that means I can do it other dances.

Is it OK to be proud of a second place finish?  HELL YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. You can do whatever you put your mind to, and second IS something to be proud of. I would be happy to be able to show up 🙂 If you can get mambo, then rhythm is definitely in your ‘wheel house’!!

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