Yesterday I went sledging with some friends. The slope we were using had two sections. I was completely unable to get onto the lower section. I'd either stop early or slide of the edge. For some reason, this got inside my head and I got really frustrated. I didn't care about doing the lower section, or I'd have just started halfway down. I just wanted to try the whole thing. My friends gave me advice but nothing I tried made any difference. I tried different starting positions, different amounts of leaning, different positions on the sledge, different sledges, different leg positions. No win. What frustrated me was not that I couldn't get onto the lower section. It was that I wasn't improving. There was nothing I could do to get there.
It's a bit like losing a competitive sport match. There are two ways of losing - losing because you played badly, or losing because the opposition were simply too good. I think most people prefer to lose by just being outclassed, because they want to have played as well as they can. I disagree. I would prefer to lose because of playing badly, because then at least I can go away and improve, I know there is something I can do to change things next time. I don't like losing at all, but especially if there is nothing I could have done to do better. Just like the sledging - I hated being unable to change anything to improve.