I'm a Loser - By Colleen Whiteford, PT, DPT


I'm a loser. 

I lose my cell phone all the time, much to my husband's chagrin. I lose paper appointment cards before I can write them down in my amazing electronic calendar. I lose my glasses. I lose track of time with patients and get behind schedule. Sometimes, I lose my patience...

The loss of these things is not good.

But, not all loss is bad.

Like losing an election. Do you know what I think is worse than losing an election? Never running for anything in the first place...

I used to be afraid to run, thinking that if I lost, people would feel sorry for me or whisper behind my back. "She's never been the same..." Or, "I can't believe she thought people would vote for her." Or, how about this one: "I don't stand a chance running against them."

Kind of why I never liked eating alone in a restaurant, even when traveling. I felt like people looked at me and felt sorry for me because I had no friends. Takeout worked fine.

But I've learned some things in my old age:
  1. No one remembers who ran and who lost. That's a fact. Even as a past Nominating Committee Chair, I couldn't tell you. The average APTA Virginia member certainly has no recollection either. People's memories are given a lot more credit than they deserve if we imagine that they harbor such statistics.
  2. Running for office and not being elected is a brilliant campaign strategy. What a great tactic for garnering name recognition and being elected to that or another other role in the future! I wish I had thought of it sooner.
  3. The only people who never fail are those who never try. Sometimes the only way to grow your network, skills, opportunities, and experiences is to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.
I've gotten over a lot of my fears of what others think, perhaps a sign of my “maturity.” But in a past election, I learned that someone was running against me for APTA Virginia Secretary. I moved through a variety of emotions somewhat akin to the stages of grief: surprise; then curiosity as to who it was; then hurt feelings that there were people who evidently thought I was not doing a good job; next was acceptance – whatever happened, happened; next was the contemplation of what I would do with my free time when this other person won; next was hopefulness that they would win; and finally, came clarification that my opponent actually meant to run for district secretary, so I had no opponent at all. So much for all that free time. Next came grief.

Competition is healthy, a part of life, and can push us to test ourselves, question our motives and goals, and expand our comfort zone. Not such bad things if you really think about it. The real victory isn't in winning an election. It's in choosing to run. Let's purposely choose to overcome our fears and insecurities.

C'mon. I'll even take you out to eat. Then I don't have to go alone. Which, by the way, doesn't even phase me anymore.

Open Positions

Chapter Elections:

District Elections:

Nomination Deadline: Friday, July 29, 2024



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