Sunday, June 19, 2011

Many will enter, only one will win

I have no pictures today because yesterday was spent running around in my best friend's backyard and I'm sure everyone is sore today. I know I am, but not as much as the ones who did the three-mile walking race, then the sprint shortly thereafter.

Pro tip: stretch before and after.

I've been slacking off a bit in the needled arts in preparation for this weekend's Midsummer Games and hopefully I can get some pictures to share. I was busy refereeing, but that's fun for me. My favorite is the part at the end of the day when everyone falls over, exhausted, and says "Man, that was fun!" The prize was just a cheesy plastic gold medal, but there are bragging rights that went with it. Amongst this lot, we had eight pies and six cooks who thought his or hers was the best one. Eight pies enter. One pie leaves. The Twister competition was just epic and even the kids had a great time. Iris did very well and the best friend's middlest child also did quite well. Her youngest ended up not winning anything, but he did finish the three miles and I'm very proud of him for that. He's not quite there when it comes to being okay with his personal best, but he's got good parents that will help him get there.

I'm so, so proud of when he tried and I hated seeing him upset, but not everyone can win. It's more important, really, to do your personal best and if your personal best is better than your competitors' personal best, then great! If not, that's okay, too. You're not going to get a cheesy plastic medal for it, but you'll know you put forward all you could and really, there's so much you can learn from loss. There are those parents who would hand out trophies to their kids for just showing up, but the truth is that this just makes adults who expect rewards for having a pulse. We don't become skilled without challenges and without learning how to win and lose, we won't learn how to deal with both gain and loss and we lose our impetus to increase our skill. Why become skilled if you're going to be given a trophy for showing up?

Anyway, I have ideas and plans for next year. We raised about $10 for the National Kidney Foundation to honor a dear friend of ours that passed this time last year. It isn't much, but it's $10 more than there was before, so that's a win, too. One of my biggest hopes is not only that our local community strives for the best of what they can do, but also makes a habit of charitable giving. After all, what you give really does come right back to you.
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