You had a tough time on the mat today and the ride home was pretty quiet. I admit I was very disappointed but I later came to realize that I shouldn’t be and that it is all part of the journey you are taking.
When I watch you on the mat I worry that you are doing battle while unprepared and that I have failed in your preparation. As a father that is my greatest fear, that you are unprepared to face the challenges that will come before you. I want you to be prepared for your match, but I’ve come to realize that it is the matches themselves that, are in the long run, win or lose, the things that ARE preparing you.
I think that the greatest benefit from wrestling is learning to face challenges and to demand the most from yourself. You learn to fight when you think there is no more fight left within you. You learn to get up after you’ve fallen, time and time again. You learn about sacrifice and about pain. You learn to endure and to overcome. This is what I want for you, not because I wrestled, but because these lessons are the true gifts of this sport. So, those losses today were actually part of this gift, and an important part of the journey…….
(The letter can be found in its entirety within the book.)
*note – this is an actual letter I had written to my own son. I’ve included it into the book after having such a positive response to the letter from another blog.