It’s that time again. That amazing experience every couple of years when we long to see our flag hoisted to the rafters of some far-away arena and when our eyes fill with tears at the opening bars of O Canada ringing out for the world to hear. Ahhh…the Olympics. When we’re all as Canadian as maple syrup and as proud as peacocks when our peeps bring home the hardware.
There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with having aspirations to compete at the world-class level in whatever it is that inspires and drives you. I stand in awe of those who have (first of all, the athletic ability and) the passion, dedication and determination to achieve such feats, not to mention the tireless families and communities that stand behind them every step of the way. But, I can’t help but find it just a teeny bit bothersome that we are so greatly affected by the achievements of strangers (yes, they are our Canadian brethren, but very few of us actually know them personally) yet we make very little noise about the Olympic-sized hearts beating in our very own homes.
I was in a hockey arena the other day and overheard someone say, “Well, if he’s not gonna play rep, then he might as well not play at all – why waste the money?” Okay, so having a passion for something you’re not particularly good at is a bad thing? The child in question was clearly not displaying the markings of the next Sidney Crosby, but he was smiling and fist-bumping his comrades and helping other kids (even some from the opposing team) up from the ice when they fell. His Olympic spirit shone from his rosy little cheeks more brightly than any gold medal ever could.
I realize that not all parents have the perspective of the one I overheard. Most parents I know are uber-excited about watching their little boo whether he’s scoring goals or doing the Zamboni with his backside. But it bugs me that results and caliber of play are often the focus when the attempt and the passion are what matters. Like Wayne Gretzky and (awesome Canadian band) Hedley said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
I guess what I’m waffling all over the place about and ultimately trying to say is: I salute every parent out there who supports any sporting, arts, academic or other endeavour that promotes their kid having a passion; for anything, whether they’re good at it or not. It doesn’t matter what the passion is; it’s that desire to do their best. And the fact that communities come together to delight in kids’ attempts and share in their passion along with their loving parents? Well, that’s the stuff that Olympians are made of! All waffling aside…GO CANADA GO!!!! (Couldn’t resist – I love hearing the anthem as much as you do!)
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About this blogger:
Paula D’Orazio RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program at the Halton Region Health Department. Wanna know more about her? Read her blogs! She’ll tell ya! (She kinda likes to talk.)