I posted last month about how proud we were of Ben for his hard work with swimming and eventually getting medals during his last competition. It was a milestone and a tipping point for him. That was't the first time he competed and he was concerned that a lot of kids will be faster than him. To be honest, I am (for a lack of a better term) "highly invested" in his swimming "career" because I have been taking him to swimming lessons and going inside the pool with him for more than 4 years. I try not to pressure him but I can't help but feel anxious whenever he gets frustrated abour his speed. Nevertheless, even we knew he wasn't the fastest, we kept on training. I remembered Bry telling me that what is important is that Ben gradually improves. So, instead of being discouraged when Ben would be in no mood to swim, we just kept on going and told him that practicing will make him better. We are very fortunate to have coaches who are able to properly motivate him and push him to work hard while having fun in the water.
I was nervous for Ben during the competition, but reminded him that what matters is that he does his best. His hard work paid off as he got two bronze medals in backstroke and butterfly. It was also a humbling experience as well because he almost got another medal for breaststroke but failed to touch the wall of the pool right away, causing him to be 4th place. (He learned a valuable lesson there!)
When Ben and I talked about the experience, he told me that he was glad he kept on training even if it was hard because it made him stronger and faster. The coaches also noticed an improvement not just in his speed but also in his attitude towards training. I am thankful for that chance to make him realize the value of hard work and for not giving up right away when things get rough. I hope he remembers that and applies it not just in sports but also in other aspects in life. This experience of him reminds me of why having "grit" is important. I hope that Ben gets more opportunities to develop it as he goes through his formative years.
How about you? What's your GRIT story?