I love to win, don’t you? Victory is just plain fun.
I love it when my teams win (Go Dolphins! Go Hurricanes!) and I love it when my kids’ teams win.
But in the world of sports–and life–there is always a winner and a loser and so your child will be facing a lot of losses in their lifetime. But my daughter has shown me recently that even in losing, there can be victory.
My 26-year-old, Holli, played sports growing up and through two years of college. She is now coaching and competing in crossfit and has just lately started competing in weightlifting.
In her first weightlifting competition a few weeks ago, she qualified to attend the state competition last weekend. Her dad and I drove the 3 hours to support her, even though she warned us that she probably wouldn’t place, and might even be at the bottom.
As she guessed, she did not place, but she wasn’t at the bottom either. However, there was no medal for her this go-round.
Yet, there was most definitely victory in the experience. As I’ve watched her prepare and work through this, I’ve seen that there are ways to victory even when the scoreboard says it’s a loss. Holli’s example has re-affirmed what I saw as my kids grew up.
Even when there’s no win on the scoreboard, there can be victory in these ways:
A fear is faced and conquered.
Often the victory is simply being brave enough to try.
My daughter was stepping into a fear when she decided to compete in weightlifting. It’s a very singular sport. You are facing judges and spectators all alone, no teammates to support you and make up for your weakness or error.
And it was because she felt so afraid to do it that she knew she had to.
She may not have won a medal last weekend, but she was victorious because she faced her fear head-on and did not let it hold her back.
The process is respected.
Holli spent many hours preparing for the competition. She faced discouragement, encouragement and worked hard to improve.
Too many people grow impatient with the process. They want to skip over some of it and arrive at victory or success right away.
But the process is needed. It’s there for a reason. It is only through the process that a person grows stronger and wiser. Trying to short circuit the process may seem to work, but it is a cheap and short-lived success.
Defeat becomes a learning experience.
No loss should be wasted. The person who examines the defeat and learns from it is actually experiencing victory in defeat.
Defeat is a learning opportunity to find out what is lacking and why you lost. It’s often hard to live with yourself after you feel like you’ve messed up, but if you allow it, you learn and grow the most from the losses. Once you take a step back and see what you’re lacking, focus on it and work hard to take it to the next level.
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