My son is in 7th grade this year and decided to join the cross-country team. Ever since the first day he has loved it.
I witnessed a hint that my wife and I may be doing an ok job as parents after his first meet. During that meet he started out about the middle of the pack and over the 1.5 mile run slowly moved up runner by runner. As he was headed into the final stretch and all the boys started their sprint to the finish line he was in 7th place overall. As he crossed the finish line 7th he started to walk to toward end of the chute. At this point another boy darts past him, at which point my son quickly realizes that the stake he saw in the ground was not the real finish line, it was another stake about 5 feet ahead. Thus he officially ended up 8th overall.
When he walked over to us after the race we congratulated him on a great run. Although he didn’t say anything, I could see the disappointment on his face.
Later that night at dinner he started talking about the race with these words. “Hey Dad, here is what I learned and here is my goal for the season.” He then proceeded to tell me he learned that he needed to know where the finish line is and sprint through it. I was very impressed. He could have made excuses, saying it was unfair, blaming the coach for not showing him where the finish line was, etc., but he didn’t. He acknowledged the mistake, and learned from it. Then he set the goal to finish in the top three for at least one race this season.
I was more proud of him for that conversation than for running such a great race. Now I don’t tell you this to brag about my kid. Instead it is to share the lesson I learned from him that night. How much better would our lives be if we all approached our mistakes, failures, disappointments the way he did - simply identify what we learned and set a goal to be better in the future?
And last, but not least, my son achieved his goal on the second-to-last race of the season – finishing in first place!!!
Wishing you success in all aspects of life,
Founder and President
Smart Health Wellness and Performance