It pains me when Greg’s team loses (especially only the second game of the season), so much so that I found myself contemplating why on my 26-mile drive home from his school on Saturday. An early season loss isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s used as a learning experience. While my head knows that, I don’t think my heart could acknowledge it on Saturday as I left the field.
But I was quickly reminded of my own experiences in high school as a runner and how they have a deep meaning in how hard I work today. And that’s what I realized bothered me so much about the loss.
As a runner (and as I have written in the past), I worked extremely hard and when I started to experience the success of accomplishing my goals, I saw that if I continued to work hard, I would eventually have more success. There was a caveat to this though– I had a hard time overcoming the intense pressure I put on myself and the negative thoughts that plagued my mind.
Because of that, I never truly ran a race up to my potential. I left high school feeling as if I had wasted many opportunities and promised myself, especially after my sister ended her life three years following my high school graduation, that I wouldn’t allow that to happen again.
Deep inside me, that is probably the base of the fire that is always lit inside me and why I have accomplished all that I have (with still much to come!). That’s what I draw on to motivate me each day through a long list of items I want to accomplish, and what I remind myself of when life events and experiences try to drag me down. I take myself back to that teenage girl on the track or at a cross country course and remember the disappointment I felt all those times I finished a race knowing I had squandered yet another opportunity.
We don’t realize how short life is, but it provides us with repeated opportunities to grow and learn and be more than we ever thought we could be. That’s what drives me and keeps the fire inside me lit.