I sat with my nephew a few days ago and as we started into the usual adult to 8 year old topics of discussion, I noticed a rather nasty scab across his elbow heading up his arm. “Alright rockstar… what in the world did you do to that arm of yours” I blurted out, moving around to survey the damage. I examined it for a minute, still awaiting an answer. He waited until I looked up meeting his gaze, and a broad beaming smile spread across his face. “Came around a corner too fast and crashed my bike “ he stated, his boastfulness and joy evident as the words rolled out of his mouth. “It’s probably going to leave a scar” he added lighting up even more. I felt a smile of my own begin to form across my lips as I let the pride that he felt in that injury register in my brain. “Well you know what they say” I started, giving him a wink “chicks dig scars”. It was a simple moment, and conversation rolled on as he told me a few more stories about mountain biking his new favorite hobby and the usual 8 year old figuring out life moments. I left that afternoon not really thinking much more about it.
It wasn’t until just this morning as I labored around the lake running trails, an attempt to counter act the effects of build your own burger special the previous evening, that it popped back into my mind again. I was drenched in sweat (thank you NC humidity) but found myself getting more and more amped up the sweatier I got. It was like an immediate reward. Mother Nature’s way of reminding me how hard I was working toward my goals. The longer I pondered on it the more I realized the euphoria I often found at the end of activities. What some people might see as gross and unappealing, I saw in a different light. For me winding up sweaty was proof of the passion I had just put into whatever I was doing. And while yes, there is nothing like sliding on a pair of shorts that didn’t quite fit before, I began to wonder if it was the work that went into it that really made me feel good.
This brought me back to thoughts of my nephew. While the sliding across rocks, stumps and dirt after losing control of his bike might not have been the greatest feeling, the following heal time and potential scar was a reminder to him how much he loved his sport. There is something to be said for a few good battle scars. As I thought more on the subject I thought about the things that hurt us in life. There are many types of pain both physical and mental, and at times it can be overwhelming. Usually this is when the tears find their way to the surface. But again, this is just a reminder of the passion that we feel for whatever it is that is hurting us. A goal missed, an event that didn’t go quite right, an argument with someone….. These are all things that can only cause tears when the people involved are truly devoted to what they are doing.
The outcome is always going to be a focus, but as you go through your days toward it don’t forget to take time to relish in the battle itself. Don’t be afraid to enjoy the blood, sweat and tears of it all.
Hell, if you are really strong and truly have a passion for what you want, you might discover it’s the battle that gives you the most satisfaction. Relish in having a few battle scars to show off, appreciate the daily victories that often get overlooked when striving for something big.
Be the 8 yr. old with the best stories on the playground!