Saturday, January 26, 2008
On winning and losing
"If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" ~Vince Lombardi
Here is one of many reasons why I love my son. For the past couple of years he has been playing a team sport in college where his team has won only one time each year (they play about 95 games each season). Tonight, when he called, I asked him who they were playing and I asked him if there was a potential for a win tonight, and he replied without hesitation, "There's potential for a win every time we go out and play."
I honestly don't know where he comes from because we are a family of mostly sore losers here and I say that with the utmost kindness and love because, well, they are my family and I guess I have to. My husband was an athlete growing up and no one loses nastier than he does except, perhaps, my youngest daughter who is a carbon copy of him only cuter. Losing for them is personal and it is painful and it is a reminder that they cannot control everything. I think if I was an outsider looking in, and I saw how they react when they lose, I would probably tsk, tsk and get up on a high horse to tell them to please get a life. But since I live with them, I see that their mentality is focused on winning because they do not see the point in playing if they are not playing to win and so they see losing as a waste of their time. They lose a little love for the game they are playing because winning is always the goal. Playing well doesn't seem to make them feel any better about losing. Ever. Both my husband and my daughter are very difficult personalities, they are driven and self motivated and they are both very successful in everything they do because they do things to do them THE BEST. Their approach to life makes me love them all the more because they will not concede that losing is something that will happen to them. It's just not an option they consider.
But my son? Well, we could all learn a thing or two from him about losing with grace because that is what he does. He goes to practice every day of the week and works alongside his team and he prepares himself for the next game always with the thought in mind that he has a chance of winning even when reality suggests he should probably prepare for another loss. I can't tell you how proud he makes me, how it humbles me and makes me want to be a better loser myself because I have picked up some bad habits hanging around with the rest of the crew here. My son will tell you that you cannot win everything and he finds contentment in doing his very best, in giving his all regardless of winning or losing. He doesn't think he is a loser because of the many losses his team has suffered. He always looks ahead and believes there is chance that at the end of the next game there will be a big W beside his team's name.
Anyway, I just think he's totally awesome.