“Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost
and find another one.”
As many of you know, working out and running with friends or family lends itself to discussions one might not typically have. Try it with your child sometime when you have a serious topic to discuss. There are many reasons why discussion flows more easily during physical activity, and I have read some of the extensive research as to why this is. However my own theory is that has to do with having a captive audience. (What are they going to do, run away from you? You will just catch up!) Or maybe it is a welcome distraction from the endless pounding of the feet on pavement during those particularly long runs.
It is the conversation, sharing, and bonding during physical exercise among friends and family that keep enthusiasts running week after week, year after year. Oh, yeah -and a few health benefits associated with running and exercising as well.
On a particularly lovely spring day as we pounded out the miles (okay, so we walked a lot), a story was relayed to me about a private conversation between a mother and her son. I found it very inspiring and knew I had to share this intimate moment with the world. (So do not tell anyone, please.)
A young man, a sophomore in high school, tried out for the school baseball team but did not make the roster. He is a great player but cuts needed to be made and he got the shaft. (Hearing this my heart ached for him, remembering the disappointments my own children experienced during their growing-up years.)
So the mom, devastated as she was, sought to comfort her son by suggesting they go out for coffee and just talk a while. What a thoughtful and loving gesture.
“Thanks, Mom. But can we go to the sports store? I want to try out for the track team this week and need new running shoes.”
No one threatened to call the coach to complain. No one whined about how unfair “it” is. No one sat around moping “woe is me”. Instead, the young man stopped, looked around and said, “There is so much I can do in this world! What’s next?!”
As parents, we WILL have to face disappointments alongside our children. It is tough for parents – when they hurt, we hurt even more. Yet based on this young man’s response, it is clear his family values moving forward when life throws a curve ball.
Yes, it is okay to feel disappointed, sad, frustrated, hurt – whatever your heart feels. We would be denying our authentic self if we ignored our unfavorable feelings. But after a good cry, use the dispiriting experience as a growth opportunity, and see what’s next! Use your internal locus of control; look inside yourself to to envision future possibilities. I firmly believe that when one door closes, a window opens – however YOU have to lift the window to see what is out there.
Put on your running shoes and get out there! The world is waiting for you and your family!