Our culture loves to win. We've become obsessed with it. I'm not sure what the origin of this obsession is but personally I blame Vince Lombardi and his whole "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." shtick. In fact if that crusty cheese head was alive today I would sock him in the face for saying such a thing. Ok, I wouldn't punch Vinnie in the face he's probably a quality guy. However, if Lombardi was alive today and said that while standing next to Bart Starr I would for sure punch Bart Star in the face. Because Bart Starr's smug face staring at me while ole' Lambo yaps his lips would send me over the edge.
All kidding aside, as the importance of winning has grown the disdain for losing has grown with it. I've seen too many grown men throw away their integrity over youth sports. If I'm being honest I would tell you that I've made a few bad decisions while coaching or playing. As I look back on it I think those emotions are mainly driven by our adverse reaction to the idea of losing.
At our home we've been in the middle of an intense season of losing. I'm fighting to lose weight and my wife's the varsity volleyball team has a record of 3 - ......well we don't talk about the losses. So I've been surrounded by losing. Even though my losing is seen as a positive it's really only happening because I've spent the last three years losing at maintain my own personal wellness. So this 12 weeks while it's been full of positive comments and support from family and co-workers is really just the chickens coming home to roost.
In the midst of all of this I've learned there is an art to losing. No, I'm talking about being gracious in defeat. If you kick my butt I don't want to have to shake your hand and tell you good game. That's more about dignity and grace. Grace is for dancers and dignity is for the dead. I don't dance and I'm still breathing. The art of losing is about finding the ability to crawl out of the hole life has dumped you in. It means doubling down on your effort and being able to listen to the criticism of those that care about you. It probably means your going to have to get way more uncomfortable than you were previously willing to before.
I hate to lose. Hate it, but I'm not afraid of it. More than winning I love a good comeback story. My prayer for all of us is that this three months has been the beginning of a great comeback story.