Fret Not Built for Speed

My children will never be world-class athletes. I know this. Because, if either (or both) of them were truly a gifted athlete, that sparkle would’ve shown through by now even though they’re eleven and seven. Sure, there are the outliers like Misty Copeland who didn’t grace ballet until she was 13, but these ‘late bloomers’ are the exception and their talent obvious; Copeland was a professional a mere two years later.

While I hope that both of my children are more coordinated and better athletes than I – trust me, this is a very low bar – I want them to participate in sports throughout their lives irrespective of their abilities for the sake of their health – and maybe even participate on an organized team to help them get into high school and/or college. Sports are emphasized in our household as part of being a well-rounded student – and having a less well-rounded, healthy body.


Field Day at my children’s school was last week. My first grade son participated in one 50-yard dash that was not timed. He performed respectably, finishing in the middle of his pack..

In the upper grades, students had the choice of whether to run the 600-meter race, which led off the day for those grades. My daughter, despite knowing that this was not one of her strengths, opted to run it. She chose to run a race she knew she wouldn’t win and she ran it the whole way. There is something noble in entering a contest you know you won’t win – even if this is done by a grunting tween – especially when everyone will see you lose. I admire her for it.

My husband, her friends and I cheered for her. [Having friends who will cheer for you is a great thing, by the way – more on this another time.] She was not particularly beautiful to watch – her father promises to work with her on her form – but she did it. And in this life, perseverance is far more valuable than speed. Very few people – even the fastest grade school runners – will ever make a living from their athletic prowess. But every profession requires the grit to grind through associated mind-numbing tasks in order to get beyond that level of work. Trust me on this, even if you’re a stereotypical millennial – you will have to do grunt work before you earn a corner office.  

There is tedium involved with writing a blog, even this blog, which is a passion project. Despite the technical help from the amazing Balanced Biz duo and Weebly’s simplicity, there are many blank screens and rough drafts to get through until this prose (which, regardless of your opinion of it is better than the first iteration, I promise) appears on your screen.

Now, to step off my soapbox and get back to the seed that ignited this post in the first place; my children’s Field Day. My daughter ran her personal best, shaving seven seconds off her best time for the distance. Nevertheless, she came in dead last of all the girls in her grade. I couldn’t have been prouder.

2 thoughts on “Fret Not Built for Speed

  1. Lynn O. Peterson says:

    Interesting post! Especially since Dan and I recently admired your daughter’s grace, posture and uninhibited spirit climbing the rocks around the koi pond…in front of two adult strangers, no less!

  2. your co-chair says:

    sister – i still have PTSD from field day at my childhood school. So much so that i can barely even watch field day. So – how lucky are we that our children are in an environment where they are supported and loved for what they do and how hard they try.

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