Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sometimes They Listen

Photo by Noah Hamilton
Photo by Noah Hamilton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last evening, after some small miracle occurred and a movie I chose made it to the top of our Netflix queue, we watched Soul Surfer. This movie is about Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost an arm to a shark then went on to compete as a professional surfer.

After Bethany did poorly at her first attempt at competing after losing her limb, she was surprised to get a bunch of fan mail. When she asked why, her wise movie-mother said "because you tried."

And my son, snuggled next to me on the couch, said, "and DNF is better than DNS."

My husband and my daughter both replied, "huh?" but I understood perfectly, because months ago, on Thanksgiving, when my son and I were running our own 5K turkey trot, I had said those very words to him. They're words I read often on the forums of the site that got me through my first triathlon. The phrase is one of those endurance athlete cliches.

Did not finish is better than did not start.

Sometimes things happen. We get injured, we lose a bike tire, we hit the wall. We might not finish. That's why every time I race, there's one line I strive to make it to - the starting line. After that everything's gravy. What matters is that I tried.

Racing, like yoga, teaches me lessons that apply very nicely to life. I try to share those lessons with my children. Most of the time I'm pretty sure they ignore me. But then there are moments, like the one last night, when they let me know that sometimes they listen.
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