We got up early this morning to drive to a karate tournament. Adam has been competing since 3rd grade. At his first tournament, he won 3rd place in forms but was quickly eliminated in the sparring. For several years, he never won a match. I vividly remember a tournament where he tried so hard to win but couldn't. As he was packing up his gear, he kept wiping tears of frustration from his eyes. My heart broke.
Fast forward to today. He competed in forms but didn't place. It didn't look like it was going to be his day. Then came the sparring. Wow! He won his first match 7 -1. Afterwards, he could not stop grinning. His second match was a nail-bitter. He was up against a tough opponent but he held his own. The final score was 4-7. He didn't win but he walked away with a 2nd place trophy. He finally stopped smiling long enough to eat a pecan pancake at IHOP.
Winning isn't everything but it sure is nice....especially when you've worked long and hard for it.