My son is on his middle school wrestling team. The junior team has the little 6th graders like my son and the Varsity team has the much bigger, 14 year old 8th graders.
Last week, my son’s friend Mikey (6th grade) had to fill in for one of the Varsity wrestlers in a competition against another school.
You could feel it in the air that everyone was tense and nervous as he entered the ring.
I can only imagine how he felt, about to face this bigger and much more experienced 8th grader.
As expected, he lost the match.
But that’s not where this story ends…
The next day, my son came home from school and said Mikey got a spot on the Varsity team.
But he lost? Why did he get a spot? My son asked.
To which I replied:
Buddy, you just saw first hand what it looks like when someone earns their spot.
He showed courage just by stepping into the ring and he showed character by fighting as hard as he could until the very end, losing in the final round.
Sometimes it’s not about winning.
Sometimes it’s simply about showing up and never giving up.
I think we all need to remember what it feels like to step into that ring against that big 8th grader.
I think we all need to try to be more like Mikey.