Sometimes it’s less about winning and more about finishing

Sometimes it’s less about winning and more about finishing

Zia!-That’s what they call me. It’s the Italian word for “Aunt.” Being an aunt fills me with such joy and some awesome teaching opportunities. My nephew is 7, and like many young kids, he asks a lot of questions, his zest for knowledge just astounds me sometimes.

A few weekends ago, my husband and I went to the “IAAF World Relays 2015,” which were hosted for the second year in a row, in Nassau, The Bahamas. Teams from all over the world came to our tiny “pebble” in the Caribbean Sea to compete against one another and in some cases – to set new World Records. Australia, Algeria, Great Britain, Kenya, Nigeria, Ireland, Italy, France, Jamaica, Brazil, China and The Bahamas (to name a few) were all present and put on a wonderful display of track and field over a 2-day period.

My husband and I met up with my mom and my niece and nephew who were super excited to be attending the events for the second day in a row. During the Men’s Distance Medley Relay the United States, Kenya, Australia, Poland, Germany and Papua New Guinea all battled for the top spot. The USA took the victory and set a new World Record while doing so. But as the race was nearing the end, I could see that there was one runner way behind all of the others. I pointed him out to my niece and nephew and told them that we should clap and cheer extra hard for him. Both of them looked at me and asked “why?” I told them that he was in last place but although he was in last place, it is more important for him to finish his race, than to win it, so if we cheered for him, he would be encouraged to finish. They both said “okay” and while he ran along, we cheered progressively louder and louder for him, we even stood up to give him an ovation as he sprinted to the finish. The people surrounding us in our area and in many other areas of the stadium did the same.

When the race was over I looked at my niece and nephew and told them that no matter how late the runner from Papua New Guinea finished, or how long it took him to run his race, the important thing was that he finished, and that counts for something. They both looked at me and said “he did a good job”. Of course, I enthusiastically agreed with a huge grin on my face. We then looked back towards the track, to watch the next race.

I love teaching my niece and nephew things. In some small way I feel I am helping to shape the people they will become, a responsibility I do not take lightly. Hopefully next time they see someone trying their best, even if it is not enough to win, they’ll remember to still cheer them on. After all, sometimes it less about winning and more about finishing!


(Post by : Amanda Freedman)

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