Saturday was the "Hennesey's Junior Lifeguard Paddleboard Championships." A local pub raises money for a worthy cause while producing photographic fodder for its walls.
My kid is a strong paddleboarder. Really strong.
Or so I thought.
He knew better. He knew he wasn't the best out there. He knew he wasn't going to win. Or come in second. Or third. Or fourth. (Or...eighth...not even eighth? Ninth. He finished ninth.)
But he really wanted to do it.
But why? When you knew you weren't anywhere near a frontrunner? Why bother?
Because it was really awesome. Losing was awesome. Winning probably was way awesomer, but losing? Great, too.
Somewhere around 12,000 athletes from 205 nations will converge in London in about 18 days for their chance at one of about 300 gold medals. That's about 2.5% chance of winning. These are the people, who have trained all their lives, who have spent life savings, for whom families sacrificed time and money, who, since they were children jumped higher, ran faster, threw further, shone a bit brighter than anybody else for miles and miles and miles around. These are the winners. All they have done all their lives is win. And they are coming to London to lose. Yes, lose. They have a 97.5% chance of losing. They know their competition and they know, that while they may be faster, stronger, more skilled than most everybody else--ever--they just aren't stronger or faster or more skilled than that guy. And that guy. And that one over there. And him, too. All that training and time and sacrifice and cost just to lose.
Oh. Right. Because it is awesome to lose at the Olympics.
Which brings me to a new motto for me: "Dare to suck". Athletes and artists and entrepreneurs, face it, you're going to lose sometimes. Probably a lot of the time. Maybe all the time. But you might just win. And losing at something you love is not really totally losing, right?
Thanks, son, for reminding me of that.