It’s the kind of saying you see on bumper stickers and T-shirts. One of those rah-rah coaching slogans that’s clearly intended to sound tough and spur the reader on to feats of achievement, trampling the opposition and winning the cheering crowd’s approval.
If you’re not lead dog, the view is always the same! (followed by a photo of a dog’s back end….)
Having taken up running in my fifties, and being, on top of that a smallish person with no previous history of athletic competition (except a brief stint as bench-warmer for the junior varsity tennis team one semester of high school), my own prospects of being lead dog have always been pretty much nil. And yet, despite rarely even catching a glimpse of the real front runners, I have found plenty of pleasure, challenge, value and immense satisfaction in running everything from 5K up to marathons, and even a little bit beyond. How is it possible to relish competing when you have no chance to win? By creating your own definition of victory, and also by appreciating the rewards that come before – and after – the finish line.
And so I humbly offer my own variation on a theme:
If you’re not lead dog, the view – can still be glorious! (and we each get to choose the photo we want to imagine here…)
Which is why I am proud to call this site No Lead Dog.