Sunday, March 8, 2015

Winning is All About Perspective Part 2

"Mistakes are proof that you are trying." This weekend we travelled to Niagara Falls for our daughter Jordan's first gymnastics competition of the season. Most likely this will be her last year competing before she begins taking her coaching qualifications. Once again, I am using the term "winning" to describe how gymnastics has changed Jordan's life. This sport has not only pushed her physically and given her wonderful friendships, it has taught her so much about resilience and learning that it's ok to make mistakes.

Jordan had a strong bars routine, she scored a 9.3 and won the gold medal, she followed that with a equally strong beam performance, sticking her back walk-over and full turn and won the bronze medal. She was off to a very strong start. Opening with bars, gives her confidence because it is her strongest event. Beam is always nerve-wracking because one tiny wrong move can result in a fall and will affect the score drastically. Jordan has fallen off the beam in competition a few times and it is with such pride that I watch her hop right back on, no sign of disappointment at all on her face. Falling is part of the sport. Falling and making mistakes is also part of life.

Next came the floor event which is also a strong event for Jordan. She has a dance background and loves the floor. Unfortunately, this time, the bounce in the floor did not work in her favour and she fell on her front tuck, it happened so quickly and she got back up so fast that you hardly even notice the fall - but she did. But the important thing is that she kept right on going. To me, that ability to bounce back means far more than any gold medal. We are so proud of the young lady Jordan is becoming. There are going to be many disappointments and struggles in life. How we view them and meet those challenges is what we are trying to prepare our kids for. Having resiliency is a major determining factor in success and I fully believe is also very closely connected to my experience with a cancer diagnosis. Another gift our family has been given... the realization for Cam and Jordan that Mom can have cancer and have the worst of days and still be able to find reasons to smile and get back up again. Jordan can fall on the floor and still smile from ear to ear and say "Mom maybe I'm not ready to stop competing next year" or Cam can walk out of a hockey game, missing a pass or a shot on goal and know that he played 100% and stayed positive.

Sports is so much more than winning. We are grateful for the lessons that it has taught our kids and know it will prepare them for meeting all the challenges life will bring them down the road.

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