When I read some of the comments on blogs and Facebook lately, I’m struck by the focus a lot of people have on winning. Coming in first, being the best, biggest, fastest, or smartest seems to be the goal. In that world, getting second place is a failure.

I recently read this article about Meredith Strang Burgess, a cancer survivor from Cumberland, Maine who competes in the Tri for a CURE and intentionally finishes last. She chooses that spot so other women can participate without fearing it.

What does it mean to start something, to work at it, and to finish it? Does it matter if you’re first? Best? Fastest? Last? What do “winning” and “losing” really mean?