Tuesday, November 08, 2016

At Eleven

Year 1970, living in Walled Lake, Michigan, at the age of nine, I started playing tackle football. At ten I played on a team my father coached, and we went undefeated. Our team received trophies at a banquet, which all teams came together and watched then old film clips of the Detroit Lions destroying their opponents.

When I was eleven, we as a team didn’t win much, but my experience was memorable. Attending that year’s banquet, I was shocked learning that all teams that year, regardless win loss record, every player would receive a trophy. The top winning team did have their record showing they were the best, but...

I’m not trying to create a debate, but stating that at the age of eleven and receiving a trophy it first surprised me and then it had bothered me. At the banquet, I questioned my father why would I get a trophy?

When I was eleven, the definition of someone earning something had changed, and my father’s response didn’t really answer my questioning why I deserve something that I didn’t earn. A trophy isn’t what I was playing for. At the age of eleven, I enjoyed its competition and winning, and contributing to a team. We didn't have a winning season, but I learned and contributed toward steps improving myself. That year, for me, receiving a trophy reflected nothing and stood for nothing. 

Needing clarification: I treat winning as a measure. A measure on what needs to be worked on and improved, so winning is everything.     
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