Last week we did our traditional Lac Leman crossing, on Aug 1st, Swiss National Day. A distance between 4.1 and 4.5km, depending on how straight you can swim in the open water. It was a nice swim with the sun rising above the lake and our neoprene-clad bodies. After the swim, during the ritual après-swim breakfast, our friendly event organisers did the "award ceremony", also a tradition with humorous presents for diverse "achievements". Of course, the first man and woman were awarded with something like a bottle of wine or shampoo - and the last ones were to get a pair of fluffy white hotel slippers, as recognition for their relaxed attitude.
The last woman out of water identified herself quickly and took the prize, laughing with everyone else. Then we called for the last man out of water - but there was only silence. Called again - silence. And one more time - no one moved. Fluffy hotel slippers remained unclaimed. Funny. And not.
We should really not forget that what counts is, first, to show up! Second, to finish! And third, to fight well, even if you finish last! Pierre de Coubertin said it right (but he is unfortunately frequently misquoted):
"The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
So, bring it on, show up, fight and finish! And if you finish last, be proud, because you have fought well!