Running tip #27
My mother used to tell us kids, “Somebody has to be the best; why not you?” and though you might think this would put pressure on a 10, 12, 15 year-old (who could interpert her words to mean, “You MUST be the best.”), it did the opposite for me. The conversation at the dinner table went something like this:
Me: “I ran the 600 in gym today.”
Mom: “How’d you do?”
Me: “Only Scott Kilmer beat me.”
Mom: “I bet you could catch him.”
Me: “Really? You think so?”
Mom: “Sure, somebody has to be the best. Why not you?” (mind you, my mother knew absolutely nothing about running at the time). Then she would say, “pass the salt” or “elbows-off-the-table” and move right on to the next topic – with 4 children she had a lot of ground to cover – while I was left mulling over how to catch, and BEAT, Scott Kilmer … not because I had to, but because my mom planted the seed in my brain that it was possible.
I never did catch Scott Kilmer; he was way too fast and I was more interested in him catching me (gosh, was he cute!) but that didn’t matter. My mother’s words gave me permission to try my hardest. “Why not?!” I still say to myself whenever I embark on a new project. She also gave me permission not to be embarrassed by my effort … because trying hard makes your face red and your armpits sweat and sometimes you even grunt.
So, for tip #27 I say listen to my mother and don’t be afraid to try your hardest.