Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finding inspiration in an unlikely place

It's just after 6:00 am and I just got home from dropping my 15 year old off at school. He needed to be there by 6:00 in order to lift weights before school. The football team's off season work out program lets the kids lift after school 4 days a week, but since some of the kids play winter sports, the coach opens the weight room at 6am three days a week. On days that my son has hockey practice after school, he always asks me to take him in the morning.

My son loves sports. He plays 3 which keeps him busy all year long (especially when you consider that 2 of the 3 have pretty serious "off season" programs). He is not a natural athlete. He actually plays a position in football that he just doesn't have the size for (my husband and I call him Rudy). He loves the position he plays, so instead of trying to change positions or give up because he is so undersized, he just works harder. When he was in middle school and was frustrated by his lack of playing time (the coach actually told him that if he were bigger, he would start every game), I told him that the only things that he could control were his effort and his attitude. I said that if he worked hard and always gave 100%, that was all anyone could ask. He worked hard in practice and lifted weights whenever he got a chance and during his freshman season, he got to start most games and he played a lot.

He's a smart kid. He does very well in school, but grades come pretty easy for him. I'm not saying that he doesn't spend some time studying, but it's not a lot. I'm actually glad that he has something in his life that he has to work for, something that doesn't come naturally or easily because when he achieves a goal, he knows he deserves it because he's worked really hard for it. I asked him how many kids had been there to lift Monday morning and he told me 6 (there are over 100 kids on the team). I think he really likes being in a small group that is willing to get up at that hour and lift before school because that takes a real commitment when you're 15.

As I was driving home, I thought about how committed he is and it kind of inspired me. He doesn't complain about getting up, he just does it. He doesn't whine about how hard the work out was or how hard the coaches pushed them, he just does it. He could skip the 6:00am work outs. He could just lift after school on the days that he doesn't have hockey practice, but that wouldn't be giving 100%. That wouldn't be taking advantage of every opportunity that he is given.

I think I'm going to take my own advice. All I can control are my effort and my attitude, so I plan to give 100% until I reach my goal. When I want to feel sorry for myself because the scale didn't move in the direction I wanted or my workout is getting hard to squeeze in to my day, I will look at him, a kid who is a foot shorter than some of his teammates and give myself a swift kick in the butt. I know that when I reach my goal it will feel great because I'll know that I worked really hard for it!

I hope you all have a great day! We're having a heat wave here (23 degrees), so I get to walk outside this morning! :)


  1. What a great post!! I couldn't agree more. We have to give 100% in order to get the results we need and I'm wth you.. I'm going to give it my all. Thanks for the morning inspiration!

  2. That is so well said. I actually got some goose bumps. All we can control is are effort and attitude.

    Great job to you son. We can all learn from him...and you.