Victory is Fleeting
The phrase “Victory is fleeting” is one of my favorite reminders that has resonated through the ages. Its origin? The apex of Roman power, where a triumph wasn’t just a win; it was an event that had the city in its grip.
When a general won a major victory, he’d be granted a triumphal procession through Rome — a parade that was the ancient equivalent of a championship parade. But Rome was wise. They knew victories and heroes were mortal. So, as the general enjoyed the glory of the moment, a slave would stand behind him, holding the laurel crown over his head, and whisper, “Respice post te. Hominem te memento” — “Look behind you. Remember that you are but a man.” It was a reminder: You may be the king of the moment, but don’t let it go to your head.
Now, let’s bring it back to present day. We’ve got our own victories, hard-earned and well-deserved. But here’s the catch — they’re as temporary as those Roman generals’ cheers. You win a game, a match, a title — and for a moment, everyone loves you and knows your name. But tomorrow comes, the crowds find a new favorite, and you’re left with the question: What next?
This is why you don’t rest on the comfort of satisfaction. Each win moves the needle forward. The importance of stacking wins isn’t about collecting trophies; it’s about maintaining the momentum, keeping the edge, and sharpening your focus. In today’s game, yesterday’s win is just that — yesterday’s.
The toughness of winning comes down to this: it’s a relentless climb. The peak is narrow and there’s room for one. To get there, it takes everything you’ve got, and to stay there? Even more. So, you push harder, because the alternative is not an option, to lose.
Acknowledging the fragility of winning isn’t a downer. It’s wisdom. It’s what should drive you back to the gym when your celebration is over. It’s what should be at the forefront of your mind when you’re tempted to cut corners. Wins are not promises; they’re snapshots of what you can do, not guarantees of future results.
Build a fortitude that’s not dependent on the shelf life of a victory. Condition your mind to thrive on the process, not just the outcome. Get addicted to improvement, to the pursuit of something better every day. The work becomes the reward in itself.
Victory is fleeting. Let that move you forward. Be hungry, not just for the win, but for the excellence it takes to get there. Because when the stadium is empty, and the medals are in a case, it’s that grit — that ability to say “What’s next?” — that defines you.
Colin Jonov, Founder & CEO Athletic Fortitude
P.S. Want to share your experiences or challenges with us? Reply to this newsletter or connect with me on social media @ColkyJonov10. I’m here to support you on your journey!
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