“I don’t know why you ever would. I’m sure there are doubters out there, but all that matters is what we believe in here. We never lost doubt or confidence or anything. Anybody can think what they want, but the most important thing is what we think.” -John Grahame
This past weekend our oldest son, Thomas, raced the 5K at the Oshkosh 1/2 Marathon/5K. Unknown to us at the time of the start this wasn’t all going to be about performance, but it was going to be proved a valuable life lesson, and one that has been of much discussion in our home this week.
After coming across the finish line we watched some of the other runners finish. Two runners in their late 20’s- early 30’s sprinted across the finish line, and Thomas shared with us that at the front of the start line they were making comments on how he didn’t belong up there, he was to young, no way could he keep up with the “big dogs, he would fade, etc. He felt really bad and had a hard time understanding why someone older than him, doing the exact same race and love running as much as he does, would say something like that. As a parent my heart ached, but I wanted to make this experience a life lesson.
I explained to him that unfortunately in life this type of banter will happen, especially when you do something a little different, or are in unique situations. That the people saying things like this are called The Doubters. People will doubt your ability because of your body size, your age, what you wear, what you do, if you excel, and even when you fail. I shared some personal experiences with him that have happened along the way in my Ironman training and racing, and how I’ve turned those negative comments and those doubters into fuel to push me forward, and not to react in the way that they’ve acted.
So the conversation still continues here, 4 days later, and what has really come to the forefront of my thinking is to encourage everyone out there to keep moving forward in whatever adventure they’re experiencing right now, and stay true to yourself. Act with kindness, say the words that you’d want to be told, and encourage all those around you. Sometimes words or comments have a way of sticking with someone, when you’d least expect it.