After wrapping up July Challenge I was doing some thinking. Mainly about how grateful I am to have you all in my life. I’m so proud of the challenge vets. 

I wondered how it can be possible to make them all winners. I realized that it wasn’t about the prizes or accolades. They were already winners and I wanted them to see that. I need you to see it b/c if you ever feel this way, it might shed some insight. 

I will rewrite the post as newsletter to the masses and likely tone it down. Before that — I want you to see it as is:

I was at a fitness show once and the judges came out (before the awards) and said everyone is a winner:


There are a lot of congrats going around and I want to give a special one.

I need to tell you a quick story so it makes sense first.

I was at a fitness show once and the judges came out (before the awards) and said everyone is a winner.

“Everyone is a winner.” I can still hear it.

When I heard that, I thought it was shit. Something they said to make sure people who didn’t take a medal would still come back for more. Maybe that was true, maybe not — doesn’t matter.

I shrugged it off, grinned and said, “If I don’t win, this show is rigged trash. Don’t give me that participation medal garbage. Give me #1!”

Let’s get real. We all want the accolades. It feels good to win. The ego needs attention.

Well I didn’t win that show. I took second. I hurled that award up against the wall and it smashed into bits right there behind the stage. Made a real ass of myself.

My dad shook his head and said, “just another Ryan moment.”

This was a trend with me.

Meanwhile the guy who took 5th asked me when we were going to hang out and talk fitness. He smiled ear to ear and said he was happy just to be on stage.

I went home miserable. I cried. It was all on me and I blew it. The things I said to myself killed my confidence for weeks.

In that loss many things happened. 

I needed to do some growing. Much personal reflection happened.

I thought back to whether that show was a win and something funny happened. I realized - it was one of the biggest wins of my life.

I won discipline for myself. I learned many advanced tactics as well but far beyond that... I learned how to embrace the downtimes that may come even if you pour your soul into a project. I learned how to stay persistent and make a goal something much larger.

That loss of the good, gave me many things that were great. I rebuilt a foundation and gained years in personal growth.

The win was between me and ME. That show, that brief moment in time, it was all preparation for something bigger.

That victory was for myself. Fuck the medals and the trimmings. Those paperweights could not amount to one ounce of character building that I earned with me hard work and dedication.

So I want to congratulate the person here and now who came through and won nothing. The person who gave it everything and went all the way. 

I never missed your post. Your name in the final check out meant everything to me me.

I learned that we can be a team and shake the hand of everyone who knows they put in that work.

When I created this challenge years ago, I only saw the winner as a formality. I may not make it clear enough, you cannot ever win or lose unless you allow yourself.

We will move forward into another heat, another challenge, and many more outcomes will come our way. An outcome is only a true loss if you allow it.

I have the most upstanding clients and base in the world because of my non-victories.

I will not allow you to beat yourself up over any outcome - nor should you celebrate any win for long. 

We move like the wind and the team we have created is full of champions who could lead any battle strong.

Never doubt yourself.


Back to blog