Every parents dream is to lose.
How many of you just stopped reading? More than zero….
At Nationals this weekend, I lost to my son. Bingo! Mission accomplished.
That said, I certainly wasn’t trying to lose. I came in top 10 in the nation in both of my races, for my category. I ran a near Personal Record (PR) on my first run. I beat a lot of guys whom I normally don’t. Indeed, most everyone, even at the National Championship, was behind me.
But he beat me. He ran faster than I did; he transitioned between events faster than I did; and he out biked me, regardless of the distance of the event.
As a parent, we lead by example, not words. We must resist the foolish desire to fixate on telling them stories of “back in the day” to attempt to educate and inspire them. Textbooks do that. Teachers do that. Coaches do that. Our job as parents is to get out there, give it everything we got with them watching, so they have a most-personal example to follow.
My son has observed me leaving early in the mornings on long runs and bikes for nearly 20 years now. He has first hand experience of the strain on my face and needed no instruction as to “how hard to push,” in order to be successful.
That said, neither of us are done competing. We happened to be done competing against each other, though. And, in the last event, he won. Super Bowl ring for him, not me.
We both have several more events this year, and in the fall, he will begin competing at college in triathlon. We will probably not race at the same time, again, until the World Championships next Fall. He will start at a different time than me, and finish at a different time, as well.
I will certainly bike faster as the year goes by, and I will run further and train harder, as I am leading several cycling adventures in the upcoming years, and I have Ultra Marathons on the horizon.
I don’t like to lose. However, if I am going to lose to someone, let it be my son.