By: Michael Mehl-Executive Director-Sunshine Day Camp
Recently, our youngest child turned seven, and our oldest turned seventeen. It honestly feels like they were born yesterday! I can’t believe how quickly time flies! The realization that my four children will eventually leave the house as adults has become more evident as of late. As parents, the weight of that responsibility is huge and very stressful. As a result, I often find myself discouraged by all the things I wish I can do, and could have done, to be a better parent. I have heard the phrase “it is not a sprint, it is a marathon.” That phrase can definitely apply to parenting. While the entire journey of parenting can at times seem overwhelming, if we just slow down and focus on how we can be better now we can provide a greater opportunity for success.
Take for example the recent story I read of NBA player Kyle Korver. He plays for the Atlanta Hawks, and is currently (2014-2015) the best three-pointer shooter in the NBA. His 53% shooting at the three-point line is 20% better than the average. He is on pace to have a historic year. I recently read an article, in USA Today, by Jeff Zillgitt, that highlighted his success, and things he has done to become a better shooter. Like most successful people, Kyle Korver’s desire to be better is perpetual. According to Jeff, Kyle decided to participate in a “misogi”, the practice of pushing oneself beyond their boundaries. This particular event was in the Pacific Ocean. His challenge was to paddleboard about 25 miles from Channel Islands to Santa Barbara. As an inexperienced paddleboarder, Korver said he fell 45 seconds into the voyage. His toes bled, and after 90 minutes, he was miserable. “But eventually,” he said, “you hit a point where, ‘We’re not going to turn around. We’re not going to stop. How do we do this?’ ” So instead of thinking about the 25 miles of the journey, or the beating he was taking, he began searching for the perfect stroke. He focused on every detail of the stroke, so much that he eventually wasn’t tired. Korver said, “That exercise of finding that stroke was revolutionary to me in shooting. You take that same concept of the stroke and do it with your shot.” Before he knew it, that paddleboard voyage was over.
For Kyle Korver, the 25-mile paddleboard journey seemed insurmountable. However, by focusing how to perfect each stroke he was able to complete that journey, and find success. Parenting is no different. Let us focus on that “stroke” or moment, and be the best parent we can be at that exact time. With each small, albeit perfect parenting moments, we move closer to becoming the best we can be for our children. So slow down, and enjoy each and every moment!