Sometimes just showing up is winning
Monday, June 23, 2014
Every Monday my 9 year old and I go bowling.
Each week, he gets a bit frustrated because I score higher than him, he gets gutter balls and he feels like he isn't a good bowler.
Today, I finally had to sit him down and have a chat.
I told him that I'm taller & bigger than him, and I'm using a ball that is twice the weight of what he is using. I just put it honestly --- until he's practiced more, is using a heavier ball and is a bit older, I will probably always score higher than he does.
But -- he's not playing against me.
The concept was hard for him to understand. The idea of playing WITH me and not AGAINST me. I explained that our bowling outings were not so that one of us could be victorious over the other. Our bowling adventures are our time to have fun and spend some time together doing something we both enjoy. We aren't playing to defeat each other, rather to support each other. I told him that he needs to keep that in mind....and when he throws gutter balls to joke about it, and maybe ask for some pointers on how he is swinging the ball, etc. RELAX and enjoy the activity, rather than getting upset, annoyed at what he perceives as poor performance, or fixating on the score.
He listened, and said that next week he will ignore the score board and just take each frame as its own separate chance to improve. Boo-yah!
As we were driving home, I thought about what we talked about --- and found that I need to take my own advice.
I have a tendency to compare my performance to those of others, and then make judgement calls on my fitness.
I was really getting frustrated at the finish line of 5K races when the best times were read out in my age category and I was 10 minutes slower than the 3rd place winner. Those 10 minutes were driving me nuts! But I was forgetting two important things. 1. Personal improvement -- my first 5K I finished in over an hour. My last 5K I finished in 45 minutes. Is that a winning time? Nope. But -- I was more than 20 minutes faster! That's a huge improvement!! and 2. Comparing Oranges and Apples. The gals running the race 10 minutes faster than me are also more than 100 pounds smaller than me. They are more experienced runners and more fit than I am. The fact that I am only 10 minutes slower than them, should have me rejoicing, not feeling blue!!! If I can run 3.2 miles in under an hour while still 100 lbs overweight.....well, that screams PROGRESS when it comes to my fitness level!!! I started out hardly being able to walk the few steps down my driveway a few years ago -- to being able to run 3 miles! Wicked Progress!!
I need to forget any competitiveness or self-doubt that tries to creep into my head, and focus only on my own improvement, my own accomplishments and where my own journey is leading me.
I'm not playing against anybody else --- I'm playing WITH everybody else!!
And I should look at each event as my chance to improve my own performance, and a chance to learn from those who are more experienced and fit than I am. I can't compare myself with those who are just, to be honest, better than I am at running.
It gives the whole thing a much better perspective.
Sometimes a Mom just has to take her own advice!! :) Chill out. Relax. And just focus on self improvement, rather than competition and self-doubt.
I might be Back of the Pack --- but I finish!! And I'm happy with that!!