This past weekend was spent watching PIAA wrestling (in between sweating fits as I recover from the flu). It proved to be yet another awesome example of life inside the fire. If you’re not a wrestling fan, bear with me as I’ll bring it back to civilian life pretty quickly.

Every March, you have a few hundred young men who come to Hershey with a childhood dream of winning a state title. But, as in life, that top spot is reserved for only a select few. What ends up happening is 99.9% of those young men fall short of their lifelong dream and instead of being able to run and hide from reality, they are forced to regroup and go back into battle within a few hours.

I’m not sure there’s a better microcosm for life. You’re going to get smacked in the face, and guess what? You’re going to get smacked again…and again…and again. Life doesn’t reserve itself for the right time and place. You get what is served, when it is served.

Put yourself in situations where you experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Every. Single. Day. Get scars and bruises. Heal up. Then get some more. Add some texture to what you already know.

Life isn’t about passively getting by, it’s about mixing it up and fighting. If my words aren’t compelling enough, here are a few from Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena:

…who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat (Full version here).

Get in the mix. Get some scars. Heal up and move on.

“That’s how winning is done!”

In today’s AM Excellence, we talk the realities of winning and losing and the character it builds and reveals in every one of us. And I’m not just talking sports, I’m talking life. Listen here.