A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wow! Joe actually pushed me out the door!

After one of the most grueling years of my life, in which I earned my Master's Degree through Marymount University's Professional Development School, my son Joe desperately needed his dad back. Joe was playing way too much Halo, giving way too much backtalk, not accepting personal responsibility, not setting SMART goals. This morning, he literally pushed me out the door so that he would be on time to his Science Camp at Thomas Jefferson High School. He was ready 20 minutes early. Huge! It represents a defining moment in his life, a demonstration that he is finally "getting it." And I was an important part of that moment. Wow! Respect!

I find the "disappointment" about silver medal performances by Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps to be disturbing because of the message it sends to children like Joe, who developed the bad habit of blaming his bat for strikeouts last season. How we evaluate what constitutes success or failure as a society requires careful consideration. The important thing when we reflect upon the awarding of medals for winning and the assigning of blame and criticism for failure is to consider what is happening to us as we move forward. At the gym, every day I have been listening to Jim Rohn's The Art of Exceptional Living on my ASUS A626 every day, and he explains:
"The important thing to think about when we go to work is not what we are getting; the important thing to think about is who we are becoming."
Last weekend, Chuck Hoyle, who will be Joe's hitting coach, gave Joe his first assignment: develop a fitness regimen. He also instilled in Joe his first goal: get to a bat speed of 70 mph before tryouts in September. Next week, at the Audrey Moore Recreation Center, Joe will start working with Jerod, a personal trainer, for six one-hour sessions. Joe's going to learn how to train the right way. On Tuesday, Julie set him up with his own Fitlinxx routine. The way of hitting is not about earning a coveted spot on a high school baseball team, the way of hitting is more a way of life.

During the discussion about Michael Phelps, there are a number of numskulls who want to denigrate the performance of a great champion in this Olympics by referring to his "pot smoking." Tee, hee. Of course, Michael's decision to smoke pot was a mistake, but should it define him more than the 19 medals he has won during three Olympics? Should we forget about the lessons Phelps learned along the way, as someone with ADHD, from a Coach who loved finding diabolical ways to throw Phelps off his game, to prepare him for gauntlet he faced in Beijing?

Mistakes are a fact of life. Anyone who steps into the batters box enough times will strike out, but should that stop someone who loves to play baseball from getting back into the batter's box?

After his "disappointing" silver medal winning performance in the 200m butterfly, Phelps revealed the mind of a champion more in defeat than perhaps more than he revealed in any of his more Olympian performances. Phelps acknowledged shortcomings in his preparation, then said he needed to focus on his next performance. As I concluded in my response to Mike Wise yesterday, a true champion understands the words inscribed at the Oracle of Delphi: "Know thyself!"