Tournament of Selves

Decathlon: nine prior yous,
vaulting, hurling, leaping, flushed,
outpacing preexisting scores.

Your impetus:  see soundly crushed
all elder selves in next events.

Dead set, you strain, retrain and sprain,
reach deeper, higher, faster, past
percentages preempting tries,
until the loss to energize
beyond all clocks or finish lines
propels you above pinnacles,
declines old cheerleads, wasteful stakes,
exceeding points no record breaks.

This victory discounts amounts.
Here, winning loses track of counts;
all competitions forfeit game.

No trophies boasted, though acclaim

- your prize: progressions, vast or small,
when triumph over self gains all.

Tournament of Selves © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

View this poem at

Quote choice #2 (better than previous self).  Dali Lama quote challenge prompt - link:
Submitted: December 24, 2019