Everyone has a little streak if greatness in them. Watching your children have that moment where you can see that effort, that drive, that PUSH to find that streak-it’s awe inspiring.
Last night in the cool, dark night I watched my daughter run towards a fly ball hit into the outfield. It was shot off the bat like a rocket and didn’t lose much velocity as it raced down. I held my breath as she ran under it and positioned her glove. I knew she was terrified. I was terrified. WHOOP! It landed in her glove!!!!!! I shot off the bench in triumph. The ball hit her glove with such force that it ricocheted right out. I sank back down on the bench. She scooped it right up and got it to the infield to stop the runner grime advancing. Greatness. Not in the out or the list opportunity to get an out. The greatness was in that split second when she decided: I will NOT let being afraid stop me. The great moment was that first step toward the ball. That was her moment.
A single whistle blows. My son steps up on the block. 3 whistles blow-he assumes the raving position. I see his quivering. I know he’s anxious. 8 laps at race speed against boys twice his size. He is a sprinter and this is a 1/2 marathon for him. Another whistle and he’s off the block and slicing into the water. I can watch as he restrains that sprinters urge to GO-GO-GO. I feel him fight to find a groove. As he turns to breath I see his goggles have fallen off. If he makes any move beyond the stroke to try and accommodate all his work is got naught as the stern officials watching him will disqualify him. He swerves but keeps swimming. The fluidity if he strike falters a bit. Then greatness occurs. His stroke becomes stronger, he slips back into the steady rhythm that he needs. He doesn’t win. That doesn’t matter. He finishes. He faced an adverse situation and he pushes forward. Greatness.
My facebook feed this morning is full if runners competing in a half marathon. I have friends running. For some the 13 miles is a push-a stretch-a moment of I CAN. Choosing to say I CAN, I WILL over I can’t and I won’t is great. That moment before clicking SUMBIT on that half marathon registration is the moment that requires the most strength. Ignoring that voice in your head shouting out all the reasons why you shouldn’t is the moment when you make the decision to be great.
Nobody notices these smaller moments. We judge success on wins and trophies and finish times. But for me, this weekend, the greatness wasn’t in the 2nd place win, the 2 seconds off his personal beat time or the trophy awarded at the end of the 15 hours at the softball field. For me the greatness was in all the small moments in between.