Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happiness, Joy, Luck, etc.

My daughter, Rosie, loves gymnastics.  She's 9 years old and has been doing it since she was little.  Last year she decided to take it to the next level and joined the team at her gym.  She practices four hours a week and has just started competing in meets this year.  She plays other sports….soccer in the spring and fall and skiing in the winter; but gymnastics is undoubtedly her favorite.  You'll often see her doing cartwheels in the middle of a soccer game and she tends to use them, cartwheels that is, as a means of getting herself from point A to point B.  For a kid who has a hard time sitting still, I am in awe of her ability to get it together and focus when she gets to the gym.  Oddly, there is something about it that calms her, despite the fact that she's running and bouncing around all over the place.  I get it.  When I was a kid, I loved to run.  Like gymnastics does for Rosie, running always gave me the greatest thrill.  At the same time, it always was, and continues to be, a calming force in my life.  It makes me happy AND keeps me sane.  Go figure.  Last week Rosie had her first official meet.  She was incredibly composed.  I was not.  I did my best to hide it.  She ended up with a 4th place finish on the beam and a 5th place finish overall in her age group.  The surprise on her face when they announced her name was priceless.  Her joy was tangible.  Not just from receiving the awards, though.  From the minute she stepped on the floor and started her routine I could feel how happy she was to be out there.  That was pretty cool.

Later, as I looked through my pictures, I noticed that she'd had her fingers crossed throughout the awards ceremony (note how they remained crossed even after she received her trophy).  Enter the power of luck.  I knew it was her hard work and dedication that had gotten her up on that podium.   Deep down, she probably knew it, too.  But she believed in the magic.  And that's part of the whole package.  Even now, at age 39, I know there's a sprinkling of luck involved with every race I run.  And I gotta believe that it's that little element of surprise that keeps us coming back and helps us continue to find the joy in what we love.  My lesson of the day?  Have fun, work hard and always keep your fingers crossed.  Thanks, Rosie.

Listen to this:
Don't Wanna Dance - MØ  

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