Sitting in the stands watching my daughter’s club Waterpolo team compete in USA Waterpolo’s Junior Olympics is such an honor. A few weeks ago they battled it out with the best teams across the country to qualify for the platinum bracket. Now here we are beneath the sunny skies of Southern California on the pool deck cheering our girls on! Only one thing is different today. Where’s the fire? Where’s the drive? Because today, in this match, I don’t see it and it upsets me.
It seems the girls knew this match would be tough as the opposing team was the top seated in their bracket and they did not show up to win. They hardly showed up to play. Wait! Before you accuse me of being an overbearing parent with high expectations ….oh hell, perhaps I am a little. But here’s my point of view. Would you get into a car and say “oh well, we’re going to crash anyhow, so why steer?” Of course not! So why show up to a game and not give it your best?
Case in point, a few weeks back, I competed in a mountain bike race–my first in a few years. As we headed off the line and along the course, there was an obstacle blocking one of the directional signs (honestly, it was a spectator who shouldn’t been where he was). Several of us at the head of the pack missed the arrow pointing to ride over the ridge and instead we followed the established trail down a steep descent only to dead end a good 1/4 mile off course! Angry and upset, we turned around and had to now climb back up that steep slope as we helplessly watched many slower riders pass by and take a substantial lead! Are you kidding me?!? By the time we were back on course, their dust had settled and we were at an extreme disadvantage. This was just the first loop. Did we quit? Did we lay our bikes down and return to the start for a DNF? No! We rallied and we pushed each other to try and make up those several lost minutes. We encouraged each other although we were competitors. In our attempts to get around the slower riders we encountered multiple obstacles that wouldn’t have come into play had we not fallen behind. Riders who couldn’t maneuver the loose sandy corners or the rocky climbs and they slowed the course. In the end, I didn’t finish nearly as well as I would have hoped for but I finished despite the issues. And I finished proud because I gave it my all and did my best. Sure I was disappointed at first, but in the end I was thankful. Thankful for my health that allowed me to even be there. For my strength, both mental and physical, that carried me through. And, yes, thankful for the lesson that sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned but we can still make the best of them. Mostly, thankful for a winning attitude!
So ladies, don’t sell yourselves short…ever. Don’t throw in the towel before the bath has even begun. Dig down, do your best and, win or lose, come out with a winning attitude. It means more in the big scheme of things than any scoreboard could ever mean!