In this family, we have some pretty serious athletes. Swimming, cross country, triathlon, football…my kids really love to compete. And I love nothing more than watching them leave it all out there on the field.
My Trinity, TrinTrin, my little sixth grade wonder just completed her first year of cross country for Jupiter Christian School. Every day she went to practice and gave it her all. Her first meet I think her time was like 45:00. She came in next to last. She gave every practice all she had and most days after cross country she went to swim practice as well. Each meet she improved and each meet she came in towards the end of the competitors– but she never gave up and she never complained.
Yesterday was the district meet. The coach told her that if she beat just a couple of the girls she could proceed to regionals. She gave it all she had on a hot day throughout the entire course. She chugged along as quick as her little legs could carry her and at the end of the race she beat her time on that same course at the beginning of the year by 6 minutes.
But she was dead last.
By a long shot.
As she came around the corner for her final lap around the field, I yelled so loud and cheered for her (as though she was coming in first)- even though most parents and coaches were busy congratulating their finishers and the fact that the race was ongoing had all been but forgotten. One lone runner dared to finish under power while next to no one saw the courage that it took to come in last.
I wonder, how many of us as adults would dare to race, dare to even start something if we knew from the outset we would most likely finish last? It takes guts to be the slowest and still start.
It takes courage to come in last.
And that’s why Trin’s finish means so much to me. I count it such an incredible win for a kid to keep trying, to not give up, to improve so much and work so hard and still keep competing even if the only competitor left on the field is herself. Because one day, with that kind of heart and determination, that kind of never-give-up and keep-on-chugging attitude, this kid will win big.
I want encourage you that if you have a child who comes in last remember what kind of guts it takes to start something knowing you’ll likely be the last one finishing…and then encourage that child with what kind of winner they truly are.