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Measuring Success

Few things rival the feeling of having your number called at zone, climbing the winner's block at Nationals or the ecstatic squeeze of your teammate's grip as your club name is called. These moments of elation, empowerment and excitement are thrilling, rewarded and celebrated. A trophy is sometimes the perceived measure of success in the Physie world, but let’s take a moment to consider how NOT winning may have an even greater impact on our lives.

Life in itself is not filled with wins.

Life often throws at you disappointment, unforeseen challenges and loss. Yes, there are times we enjoy success and achieve goals, but these situations are not where we learn the greatest lessons in humility, defeat, empathy and resilience. One's heart may sink a little each time they see a Physie girl glance down at her number right before places are given, in case her number is called, only to be left standing after each announcement clapping, as girls run from alongside to collect their places. Perhaps sympathy isn't the right emotion felt for these girls. Instead, let's think of what they are gaining - and the way these gains will benefit them throughout their lives. When we lose in something, we follow a path to emotional recovery. A path that if travelled frequently, assists us to build coping strategies that will serve us throughout our lives when faced with defeat or loss.

We learn that disappointment is natural, we learn that life goes on, we learn it is okay to feel sad, most of all - we learn not to give up.

Over time we learn to continue to participate and focus on other aspects we enjoy that are not about winning. It is critical to learn these life lessons as a child and teen, to prepare us for our adult lives. We may not get accepted into our preferred university, we will not get the first job we interview for, we will lose friendships, find first love, then have our heart broken - and we need to adapt to overcome these situations. With the increase in poor mental health in society, building resilience is more important than ever.

The measure of a person should not be how many medals or trophies they acquire, but in their ability to stand tall knowing they have shown up to class, participated, worked hard, performed their best and not given up. On competition day we march out onto that floor placing ourselves in a position where we will be judged, literally. We applaud the girls and ladies who are awarded the annual Physie accolades and we celebrate them. Yet it is the girls and ladies who simply show up every year to take the floor - girls and ladies who don't place in competition, those who have long accepted that they will likely never place, that equally deserve our admiration.

They march out on the floor simply for the love of Physie, grateful for its mental and physical challenges; the stamina, strength and flexibility it builds, and the camaraderie and friendships it provides.

To all our fellow Physie girls and ladies out there. Stand strong, march tall.

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