Well, we are back at home and back to reality. Last week ended with Sydney sparring at the Junior Olympics. Sydney did well but failed to get past the quarter finals, losing in a sudden death overtime match. She fought as hard as I have ever seen her but just could not get beyond the barrage of kicks that she received from her opponent. The match was close with both opponents leading by a point at one time or another. All through the match it looked as though Sydney was going to be able to pull off the win. Unfortunately, with just 13 seconds to go in the overtime period her opponent snuck a kick in which scored.
Where Graham had been devastated by his loss, Sydney was just plain mad. She wanted back in the ring and she was prepared to kick her way all the way to the top of the podium. Unfortunately, her chance was gone.
So, while we all hate to see our kids lose, I genuinely think this was one of the best things for them. It seems like with every sport there is a consolation prize or some type of participation medal. There is a way to reward everyone just for competing - a way to make everyone feel like a winner. At this level, the Junior Olympics has no such reward. The only winners were those that stood upon the podium. In this way, my children had to learn to lose and deal with the consequences. They learned that if they are to win they will have to work harder. They both know that they can win. They just didn't and, if they want to avoid feeling that way again, they will need to step up their game.
That is an important lesson to learn.
In another sense, they accomplished a ton. In just there second year of Tae Kwon Do they made it all the way to the top. They fought the best in the country in the biggest venue there is. That, in and of itself, is a big accomplishment.
I am proud of them.
Since the moment Sydney arrived back at home she is already preparing for the next tournament. Although the entire team is required to take a two week break from practicing, Sydney is already stubbornly working on her next form. She is also asking us to work with her kicking. She wants to learn to kick harder and to increase her stamina.
Next time she wants to win.
It seems our trip was more successful that we had planned.
Purpose comes from inspiration.