This week, I realized that life is one big race to the finish line. However, it is not a sprint, it is more of an endurance competition. The question is - are you in it to win or are you in it to finish?

At first, being the competitive person I am, I thought I was definitely in it to win. I think that would also be the reaction of most people. I wanted the college degree, nice house, a great spouse, plenty of kids, and wonderful relationships. Who doesn't? I don't think it's wrong to want and strive for all those things, but it also begs the question that when all is said and done, are you truly a winner?

It’s a lot of swimming, running, and biking, and a lot of being in my own head. I recently posed this question to myself because, and I know you saw this coming, I signed up for my first triathlon. The race takes place in August and I've been in training for several months now. It's a lot of swimming, running, and biking, and a lot of being in my own head.

After a day of work and kids, I give myself a gift each night by going out – to the pool, gym, or the road – and beating my body to a pulp. It's just me and whatever type of exercise I'm doing that night, so I have a lot of time to think.

A few days ago, it struck me that being an endurance athlete can be likened to so many things in my life. One prime example is being a Mom. We all know that there are nine long months of pregnancy. But no one ever tells you that the real work starts when the baby arrives and it honestly never ends. Ever. It's a long, long road.

The same scenario occurs with many things we encounter in life. Our careers, hobbies, and family life. We start at square one and then we learn, practice, and persevere to be the best that we can possibly be. So, back to the question at hand, how do we know if we've won or if we've just merely finished?

As I mentioned earlier, I'm the type of person who continuously strives to win. I don't just want to do everything; instead, I want to do everything the best way it can be done. But who is to judge if my best was good enough? Can you compare my best to your best?

As humans, the trivial sometimes static beings that we are, the answer is no. You, meaning all of us, cannot make this judgment. It's up to G‑d. When I walk into a room and I tell people that I'm a Mom, I hold a part-time job, I've started my own company, I write, and I'm an endurance athlete, the usual response is "Wow, I could never do all that."

Can you compare my best to your best? First of all, that's not true and second, even if it was we all sometimes forget that in the larger scheme of things it really doesn't matter because it's how we measure up in G‑d's eyes. It's not the car we drive, the amount of times you've been published, or how many kids you have. You have to live up to your own potential, the one that's been gifted to you by G‑d.

So, getting back to the question. Are we in it to win or to finish? After thinking long and hard, I can tell you now that this athlete is in it to finish. I've come to realize that winning is a term that's yet to be defined. I need to live up to my own expectations, whether they are a triathlon or taking my first step.

I have also come to see that even more important than winning is the journey that got you there. When the time comes to evaluate all I have done in my life, G‑d will measure success in His own way and on His own terms. In the meantime, we are all in the same boat dealing with the same struggles. But it's not all about winning, it's about the race itself.