Courtesy: Mike Murray
I think Thursday is an important reminder, no matter what, to be mindful of the things we are thankful for in our lives.
Last evening, we received the devastating news that the NCAA Division III Championships have been canceled for the second straight year. This leaves our daughter, Savannah, currently ranked 3rd in the Nation in the 400 IM, without the opportunity to race for an individual National Championship and likely, an NCAA team title.
Emotionally distraught and fighting through tears on the phone, I said “You must feel so angry.” Her reply was masterful “I can’t think about this right now, we’re going sledding.”
I am learning all the time as a coach and as a Dad. In 30 seconds, I discovered I did not need to try and fix things.
Savannah, at almost 20 years old has this setback under control. She and the seniors on the team are going sledding. They are going to compartmentalize this hurt together as a team. They will, for lack of a better term, celebrate this setback as a family of athletes.
As parents, we are inherently wired to create soft-landings and security, mostly out of love but also out of a need for control. Our emotional responses are indicative of the human experience and they often manifest themselves in ways that can potentially inhibit growth in our children.
After ending our phone call an involuntary smile swept across my face, signaling perhaps my own moment of stark realization that I am not necessarily needed as I once was, but now my job is simply to listen, accept and support.
Accolades, academic, athletic, or otherwise are not when we are most proud as parents. Our most profound moments of pride begin when our children no longer require the emotional safety net, and the fluorescence of their adult lives becomes more evident than ever.
Create time and space in your life as a parent to recognize these signs as validation for how you have developed strong-minded, thoughtful, and independent people.
Our legacies as teachers, coaches, and parents should be most concerned with a genuine, collective goal of long-term development, empowering our children to explore the world without fear of failure, and with the curiosity to create a better future for the next generation.
Have a fantastic Thursday!
Mike Murray is the Program director and Co-head coach of Victor Swim Club.