Skip to main content

Life lessons from sports

As a parent, one thing I've come to highly value are avenues for my children to expend a high percentage of their energy.  As infants, this usually just meant having tummy time and attending playgroups where Mommy could get a little bit of adult time while Baby got much needed stimulation from his/her surroundings.

As my children grew, I had to become more creative in finding ways to use up their energy because it was exponentially increasing.  Because we live in the Pacific Northwest - and get close to nine months of dreary, rainy weather - this meant purchasing a small indoor (think 80s exercise style) trampoline and converting our dining room into a playroom so that the kids had plenty of room to play and run around.  On good weather days, we'd go to the park or play outside with chalk, bikes, and more.  During the summer, we would get out the inflatable pool and have some water fun. But, as my children continue to grow, these things are not enough.  My husband and I have had to look even deeper - thus turning to sports.   

I grew up with sports as a fairly large part of my like.  I did gymnastics, swam competitively and figure skated (competing on what was then called a precision team - now known as synchronized skating).  These sports activities were a great way for me to have a constructive atmosphere in which I could use all of my energy.  They were also a great way for me to learn about healthy competition, healthy living, having fun through exercise, and so much more.

Even though many of the sports in which I participated had a team atmosphere to them, they were primarily individual sports and; therefore, enhanced an environment where more emphasis was placed on individual performance than a team's performance.  Even participating on a precision skating team - think Rockettes on ice - required that I was first an individual skater who had mastered specific skills.  These individual sports taught me a lot of self-discipline, hard work and ensuring that I controlled my body - not my body controlling me - in every area of my life (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual). 

As I look around the world in which we currently live, I want my children to learn these same attributes and will definitely sign them up for individual sports.  However, while I deeply value the experiences that I had as an athlete and competitor within each of these sports, I have also decided that I want my children's sports experience to be more encompassing of what life (especially in this current day and age) will bring them - better teaching them how to work together and cooperate with multiple people of different skill levels, backgrounds, and accomplishments.  Therefore, beyond just allowing my children to participate in individual sports, I want them to also participate in team sports where there isn't as much emphasis placed on an individual's performance, but on how the team works together.

Every time I consider this concept of working together as a team, I'm reminded of the 1980 Miracle hockey team.  When the U.S. team was being put together, the strength of the individual player was not the primary deciding factor.  It was instead the ability to take an athlete's skills and meld them into a team that could work together and be insurmountable. Learning this, especially as a young athlete, is a truly invaluable lesson.

I realize that there is more to teach my children than what can be accomplished in sports.  But, I've yet to find a better method to expend the continually expanding amounts of energy that they contain - in environments which will give them valuable life lessons.  Healthy competition - whether individual or as a team - is a great educator...and gives Mommy a few of hours each week to just sit and breathe.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If you give a mom a coffee cup

If you give a mom a coffee cup, she'll say "thank you" and immediately go to the coffee pot. 

At the coffee pot, she'll start the coffee and pour herself a cup...noticing the full cup of cold coffee that she poured herself yesterday.

She'll take the cold cup of coffee to the sink, dump it down the drain, and go to put it in the dishwasher.

She'll open the dishwasher and realize that it's full of clean dishes that need to be put away.

She'll put away all of the clean dishes and then will put in the dirty - now empty - cup of coffee from yesterday.

She'll notice that there are other dirty dishes in the sink that need to go into the dishwasher, so she'll put them all in the dishwasher.

She'll then realize that there may be other dirty dishes other places in the house and will go looking for them...finding them in bathrooms, on the coffee table, under beds, and in the sandbox outside.

While looking for dirty dishes, she'll notice that ther…

Bummis Super Brite

It's been seven long years since I started this blog as a place to look for cloth diaper reviews.  In that time, my family has grown to a party of five.  For a variety of reasons, we didn't do a lot of cloth diapering with our middle child, but now #3 is here and the cloth diapers have come back out!  With so many new options for cloth diapering, I thought I'd take a look back at my original reviews and update as needed.

So, let's start with the Bummis Super Brite!  I am still a big fan of this diaper cover.  Not only does it provide excellent coverage to minimize blowouts and leaks, but it is also easy to use and stylish in it's super brite colors and new designs in Cactus, Tampa and Circus.

However, there is one point to note.  My baby #3 is not a tiny baby as my previous two children were.  He likes to eat and his size shows it.  So, as we've re-begun using cloth diapers, I've noticed that they don't all fit like they did on his siblings.  The Bummis…

I stand because I have hope

There has been so much talk and division about whether or not to stand for our national anthem.  I've had a lot of time to think about it and decided to finally weigh in with my opinion.

As a child I learned to stand and put my right hand over my heart for the playing of the national anthem.  I didn't ever really learn why.  But, as I've grown, matured, and become a part of the armed services as a military spouse, I've heard the playing of the national anthem more times than most people - and I've learned why I stand for the anthem.

Every weekday afternoon, living on an Air Force base, I hear the playing of the Star Spangled Banner over the base's loud speaker.  If I am driving my car, I pull over and wait.  If I am outside watching my children play, we all stop, turn towards where we know the flag is flying, place our hand over our heart, and listen - not moving.  We don't do this because it's required, but because of the respect that we have for our c…