Over the last few months I have started to run again. Although I have not been shy about it on Twitter andInstagram, I have been reluctant to share any lofty goals in the form of a blog post for fear of failure, again. It turns out I was right, sort of.
I suffer from a severe Vitamin D deficiency causing bone pain and muscle weakness. Not cool if you want to run consistently. I thought I was ready to “officially” announce my bid for a half marathon on March 1st. However despite only running three times a week, with every preventive care imaginable, my legs rebelled after I reached the seven mile mark.
It was during that seven mile run I received a phone call from my daughter’s would be softball coach advising us she did not make the team.
My daughter had expressed interest in playing club ball. We knew that meant committing to traveling to practices, games and taking a big financial hit. We did what we do best and prayed about it.
We had a plan. If she didn’t make the team she would play another year of Little League Softball and try again in the Summer. However from the very first try-out I fell in love with the club ball team. The coaches, the program and the parents felt like home.
I was confident in her skill and she performed well. At the end of both try-outs I seriously thought she was a chew-in for the team. I was confident this team was the answer to a plethora of prayers that didn’t just include her making a team. We asked for a fit for our family time wise, financially and in line with God’s will.
Hearing the coach basically say, “Sorry your kid is not good enough for our team” stunk. Having to tell my daughter she didn’t make the team hurt my heart. She blinked back tears and said in a chipper voice, “That’s Okay!” I knew it wasn’t and that was okay too.
Then this past Saturday my son played in the Minors Winter Ball Championship Game. Each team having only one loss (to each other) all season. It was an intense game that did not end in our favor.
This game rivaled any big league world series game and that’s no joke. These kids played their hearts out. Big plays were made, small ball was played and at the end of the day the other team’s aggressiveness in extra innings won out.
It was heart breaking. The agony of defeat on the face of those ten-year old boys was more than this baseball mom could handle. The tears, so many tears from little boys who wiped them away trying to be men.
The coach went into the dug-out and told them to hold their head up high because he was proud of them and they should be proud of how they played. Us parents clapped and cheered away our instinct to go hug and kiss our babies in an effort to let them know we were proud of them too.
So what does that mean for our family?
For me, I will continue to do everything I know how to try to get body to absorb Vitamin D and keep my legs healthy. I need to remind myself that one runners 5k is equivalent to another runners marathon. Perhaps the lesson is to be content with who I am and stop trying to measure up to the unrealistic runner I envision myself to be.
For my daughter, she will play Little League Softball as planned. She has been subjected to and recovered from her first real life disappointment. She has learned that it is okay to be sad she didn’t accomplish something she wanted so bad. She knows it’s up to her to continue to learn and grow as a player if this is the route she wants to continue. That also means there might be more rejection and that’s okay too.
For my son, there is no time to dwell on what might have been. He has try-outs for Spring baseball this weekend. Perhaps he needed to appreciate the progress he has made this far. When he first got behind the plate as a catcher he could barely get the ball back to the pitcher. Now he is throwing kids out at second with authority. After missing all Fall ball because of football, this Winter he caught his first pop-up, hit an in the park home run and hit in one of only two runs his team scored in the Championship game.
I would be lying if I said the sting of the disappointment does not still linger. At the end of the day disappointments are a part of life. It is how we manage those disappointments that will build our character. Our family will continue to press on toward our goals, praising God (for the good and bad) throughout our entire journey.
How do you handle disappointments?
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