On Friday we took my little brother and sister (and their dates) zip lining in Provo canyon. We brought our two little boys along, thinking they’d just sit back and watch the fun-with me, of course since I’m eleven weeks pregnant and didn’t plan on strapping up and flying down the mountain.
But when we got there, our instructor (aka Brad’s cousin) told me that not only was it perfectly safe for me to go down, but that our two tiny tots could be strapped to us and join in the fun as well.
Of course, I panicked and said “No way.” But after my son saw everyone getting their gear on, he asked if he could ride, too. Reluctantly, I gave in. It turned out to be such a fun night! And I felt safe the whole time. We were well protected with safety gear, spotters on every platform, and double cable lines.
Brad even got into the spirit of the Olympics and started rating everyone on their platform landings, yelling out “Seven! You slipped off,” or “Nine! You clung with those toes!”
We laughed but I noticed each of us try a little harder to stick our landings each time. I started thinking about our amazing athletes competing in London. They worked for years to get to where they are. Countless hours of pain and sacrifice and heartache to earn a medal and the praise of the world. And I have loved watching every competitive second.
I know there are several kiddie soccer teams that have stopped scoring because they don’t want kids to feel bad if they lose. I think this is ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with knowing you achieved something great like winning a game that you played hard at, or recognizing things you can work on next time if you lose. Our entire world is based on competition. Being better, pushing yourself, rising above, falling down, getting back up, going for your dreams.
I agree it can get out of hand if a four-year-old’s parents are trying to beat up the coach because he didn’t get enough “hover time” around the ball, or if a kid gets grounded or punished if they lose a game. That’s going too far. But this idea of “We’re all winners!” can actually be detrimental to a child’s feeling of accomplishment. Yes, we all have great potential within us. We don’t need to feel bad about our shortcomings or failings. They should motivate us to be better, grow stronger, and work harder.
That makes earning a medal, winning a game, or sticking a landing even sweeter.
Just some thoughts from my mountain excursion. Pretty deep for a Friday night, I guess. 🙂