For any parents out there - have you ever had your child be the one to teach you a lesson? It's humbling.
For me, the lesson is to not just say it, but to do it. Let me explain....
I have talked about it several times, but for those who don't know, my son - Jake - is a wrestler. He's 125lbs and a sophomore. He started wrestling in 6th grade through the club wrestling program our school offers. His first season he lost every match, most of which were pins. His second year he won a few, but not until almost the end of the season. His third year was better still. Then he moved to his dad's house and by time he moved back he'd missed two seasons.
So here he is this year, after a two year absence, and is stronger than ever. He wins more than he loses and even from those losses, it goes more to points than pins. He eats, sleeps, breathes, thinks - wrestling.
He is so focused and motivated that I am in awe of him. He has this passion and follows it without weaver. He knows he was meant to be a wrestler. And once his wrestling career comes to an end (whenever that may be), he will continue as a coach to motivate and inspire others. He wants to be the best, he wants to be HIS best. If he could win by heart alone he would be a gold medalist.
Now to the lesson....Jake asked me if I was really a writer, to which I said of course. He returned with 'Are you sure? You don't write, you don't work at it every day, you don't do book shows anymore. So are you really a writer?"
Reality face-palmed me then when he put it another way. "Just because I say I'm a wrestler doesn't mean anything unless I get out there, learn the moves, build my strength, and get on the mat and put in the work. Otherwise I'm a kid who likes to goof around, but that's not me. I'm a wrestler."
By that point I was a little miffed to be called out by my teenager. But he was so right. And he loved telling me so. "If you are a writer than get in that office and write. Don't be on Facebook or Instagram. Don't be on YouTube or Pinterest. Write. Write. Write."
Jake loves sending me motivational videos. Most are geared toward wrestlers, but really they can apply to anything. Heck, after I hear them even I want to put on a singlet and get out there and sweat and work my butt off! But they also make me want to hunker down, to dig deep and make writing a priority.
He doesn't focus on the losses in the past or taking two years off, he focuses on today and what practices he has, what amount of running he's gonna do, how many matches he has to train for. It's awe-inspiring on so many levels.
So not just because he told me so, but because I owe it to myself, I write. On Saturdays when I'm sitting in the stands for eight hours watching him do his thing, I am also reading through the printout of my newest WIP, seeing where I can fill in gaps, give more description, or set the scene even more. I'm looking at how I can bring the best out of my writing.
At night, when I get home from work and after dinner is done, I take time, even just ten minutes, to put more words on the page. Books are written one word at a time and sometimes it feels like it will be forever, but each day I work and progress....each day I reclaim the title of 'writer'.
Leave it to our kids to show us what life is about....it's going after the things in life that give us joy - with no fear, no excuses, just passion and drive and a desire to want to give your best to the world.
For any of you who have never seen a wrestling match (because before he got into it I thought WWE was real wrestling), check out my author's page on Facebook to see Jake's first match Saturday. He went into OT! I think actually this was his best so far. On top of this, to know that just the night before he'd been told his father's parents are both in bad health (his Papa has a heart condition and needs a pacemaker and his Memaw's cancer has returned for a third time - they are giving her weeks life), to think that was on his heart and yet he still set it aside to go out there and give it his all just leaves me breathless. By time they match was over I was shaking with pride and had goosebumps!! (Jake is in the grey singlet).