Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Winner's Heart

"Did you win?" I often ask my children after a sports event. I've always thought this question was a perfectly logical one until today when I read "Worth the Wait," by Rick Reilly. This Sports Illustrated article inspires me to redefine my own definition and understanding of a win.

Rick adeptly describes a young man's journey and horrendous struggle as he painstakingly competes for a high school cross country team, in spite of severe disabilities.

Ben Comen, a 16-year-old from Hanna High, has an enlarged heart, as well as cerebral palsy, yet he trains and competes day-after-day with the high school team. Ben considers himself an example and inspiration for others--a true win, really. Reilly states, "Oh, Ben finishes bloody and bruised, but never beaten. Oh, he always loses-Ben barely finishes ahead of the sunset..."

I find myself thinking that I need to redefine my own definition of "winner." Winning should be much, much more than a score at the end of a game.  True winners are those who never give up, those who care enough to let themselves look "foolish" or inadequate in order to inspire and encourage others.  These winners are faithful not to compare themselves to others.

This comparison would be so tempting for Ben, since he has a twin brother who is perfectly healthy and "normal." I wonder what Ben must think when he stands side-by-side, next to his brother? I wonder if I could remain optimistic and a fighter, in spite of this tough "draw" in life? I tend to think I would most likely NOT be a winner...


  1. This is a raw and thought-provoking slice. You cut straight to the tough stuff. And your last sentence is gut-wrenching because I think I would be right there with you.

  2. I admire how you worked this into something to share. I tend to think you are most likely a WINNER and I hope someday to resemble you.