'There are two pains in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you'll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment,'- Nick Saban
We’ve all had to deal with this realization in that quote at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, we have to watch our children go through it as well. Most recently, I have had the ultimate displeasure of watching Matthew go through this. He had a weight gain of about 20 pounds over the past year, which put him in two higher weight classes for wrestling. Could be partly because of the Little Debbie snack cakes we took stock in over this past summer, and maybe some growth spurts he went through. Could be genetics, but look at me and Dave. So, I’m putting my money on Little Debbie! We all talked to him about losing weight, which ultimately was not an option, given the fact that he is only 3% body fat. So, the next suggestion would be to work out, build some muscle, and make it work for him. But, that would take discipline. Something he wasn’t willing to give or take. Thinking he could get by, he wasn’t going to face the fact he wasn’t going to win matches on his looks (which, by the way, he is gorgeous, but it won’t work on other guys in spandex). He was given options by his Coach to be in Athletics and have use of the weights, but again, that would take discipline, and he wasn’t willing to do it. So, when it came down to “Sectionals”, which would determine if he would make a trip to the State tournament as a contender and not spectator, he struggled. I think for the first time all season he realized that he wasn’t going to be able to do it. He worked harder that weekend than I had seen him work all season long, but unfortunately, it was a day late and a dollar short, as the old saying goes. I hated to see him lose. I hated to see all of his friends and fellow wrestlers, one by one, make it to the State tournament. I hated to see the tears flow down his face. I hated it really bad. There was nothing I could do for him at this point, but reiterate that next year, try a little harder, be a little more disciplined, and he can achieve what he couldn’t this year. Disappointment is not fun. And, it is especially not fun when it’s one of your own going through it. But, hard work and determination will always pay off.
At the same time I was watching one of my children crying, another one was rejoicing! Jacob had just found out that he had made the “travel” soccer team in North Jefferson. He decided that he wanted to try out for this team instead of just playing again at the park. Again, just like with Matthew, we told him that he needed to get re-conditioned. He, just like me, has struggled with a weight problem. He has outgrown his sixteen year old brother, and seems to be shaped like his Uncle Jason. However, he took on the treadmill like a true champ and started his conditioning regime. He was determined that he was going to make this team, and show everyone that he too can accomplish anything that he sets his mind to, or is willing to fight hard for.
John Michael has given up a lot for a nine year old, but he has dreams. May sound silly to some, but the only thing he has ever wanted for himself is to play baseball for a major league team. I truly believe in speaking something into existence and this child has spoken this since he was able to speak! For Heaven’s sake, his first real word was “ball”!!! He has missed many a birthday party, play time with friends, vacations, and all because his dedication has been to his love of baseball. He practices several days a week, three to four hours at a time, then plays 5 or 6 games a weekend. This is what he chose for himself, and I am here to support that decision. He wants more for himself and he knows all too well, without that dedication, he will experience disappointment. He hasn’t always had winning seasons, but he can always say that it wasn’t because he didn’t try. He has accomplished quite a lot these past couple of years. He just happens to be the best first baseman around! Well, I am his mommy, so I can think so!!!
There is no way to completely shield your children or yourself from disappointment. But if you can instill discipline into their lives, you can try to steer them away from that disappointment. Not always, but there are times, and when there is, there is a lesson to be learned.