Achievement or Experience? A Runner’s Perspective

Indeed, at the threshold of another historic election, our spidey-senses are heightened as we are bombarded, on a daily basis, with both information and trash about real and potential candidates.

Let me sort this out by illustration.

achievemt 2Scenario 1:  Job applicant for an executive position was declined, despite his ‘more-than-20-years-experience’ in the pharmaceutical industry. Reason? The recruiters were looking for specific achievements, those moments of turning around the business, that special Division of the Year award. They signed up someone who had lesser years of experience but was considered a maverick at concocting strategies which resulted in sales that went off the roof.

Scenario 2:  Flooding in the metro was a perennial issue. Authorities have always put in the best man around, those who graduated from the best engineering schools abroad – until they stumbled upon a local flood expert who has been keeping his own town flood-free for many, many years – without government support. The secret was his never-ending quest for answers, now considered a lifetime of experience.  When he was hired to the job at a national level, he exuded the confidence of the masters and with good reason.

photo courtesy: Google Images
photo courtesy: Google Images

Now let me take you to my world or runners, where BOTH achievement and experience are highly desirable.

Achievement is not just a podium finish; to a large extent, this means hitting a personal record (PR) or personal best (PB). It’s usually a product of deliberate actions such as training and getting coached. In other words, it’s like the result of a repeated failures and successes; the pinnacle of all efforts.

But not everyone are born or made achievers. Many of us have grown, and grown old, into running pretty much like a ‘bad’ habit or addiction that one couldn’t shake off. Sometimes we would forget, but always, we came back to running as if we never forgot or left at all. And then the years unfolded and we realized we are suddenly thrown into mentor-roles with the newbies, talking with both ferocity and passion you’d think we were just starting out.

Would you prefer Achievement or Experience. The easy answer is, of course, why not have both? Our community do not distinguish one from the other, as clear as race categories, or labeling masters versus newbies. We are a nurturing population of like-minded company, and we like hanging out with runners of all reasons and seasons.

photo credit: Google Images

The truth, for me, is crystal clear. My experience is my achievement. Sure I’ve counted PRs, but over the years, I have learned to appreciate what I have become as a total person inside the runner’s body. Small victories were celebrated like birthdays, such as getting a clean bill of health from your annual medical exams. Experience has taught us that life is short, and we would rather pass on what we have learned – than bring it six feet below when the time comes….

What do you think? All I’m sure about right now is that achievement and experience will play crucial roles in our socio-political lives from hereon.


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