Monday, August 6, 2012

Working harder than hard

Good morning! Another hot and juicy day in the northeast as August flies by....Naturally, all of the back to school commercials are on the television. How do I know? Well.....I have been watching the Olympics....didyaknow?

So, my favorite South African lost in the semifinals. once again, kudos. This guy is my new hero. How many of us "able-bodied" psuedo-athletes would take on training for the Olympics? The majority would not make the team anyway...which leads me to consider the question....

"Is it all worth it?"

What do I mean? Hmmm...consider this....there are so many athletes training day in and day out for one chance to prove themselves in front of a global audience. Yep, this is pretty neat. But we, at home, have no idea what it takes to become an elite athlete, although I have an idea.

Let's think about my big leftie....he is up at 6 am to get to his job selling pastries and washing dishes (he calls himself the "Supervisor of Dish Sanitation", which is a fancy name for dish washer). He will work until 2 pm, return home for a snack and leave to go to the gym for 2 plus hours. Tomorrow, he will go to PT for 3 plus hours. This is his off-season routine. During the season, he has time to work out, practice, go to class, do homework, and sleep for a few hours.

What makes me a bit crazy is the criticism that the athletes take when they are considered "special." They are special so they get first crack at course selection and tutors. That's about it. Yep, they do receive clothes, sneakers, and food money, but that's about all. They also are victims of misunderstanding. Unless they maintain a good grade point average, they are not eligible. In my son's case, he has the minimum plus...his dad has a grade point average minimum or it?

Yep, dear old dad can be tough on the big guy BUT his toughness and expectations are no greater than any other interested parents. Yesterday I met a friend in the grocery store who announced that her sophomore in college son was to continue to live in the dorms until his grades improved. If they did not improve this year, he would not be allowed to live in the frat house which has been a long term goal of his...therefore, since she has the fingers on the check book, this kid is bearing down and cracking open the books.

Crazy...some parents never say anything to their children about studying because they just do it. However, my kids need more guidance and I don't get it. If I left them alone, they might fail. OK, is that so bad? Uh yeah....if you are paying for the course, it is. Since I have invested money into their futures as well as time, guidance, patience, and a whole lot of gasoline, I need to watch my investments.

That may sound  over the top, but I always ask if they finished their assignments and reading. Nine times out of ten, I am sure that they are not telling me the truth. Now, if you think that I am a helicopter parent, you are wrong. I have not seen either of my children's report cards in years. I actually know that they are doing their best, so I have backed off and am not monitoring them. Although, I am interested, but not overly so. It's their life. I cannot live it....just around BPM is a hands-off kind of girl. They will achieve their success on their own terms and time and not because they are afraid to report honestly to me. Consequently, I let the conversation about grades and reports go....but I still ask the question. Sometimes, I hear: "Got a a an A!" Yep, I hear it all.....'s not so bad. Look....I know that they have the tools to succeed. They also have work ethics. I have to back off because society has changed since I was in college. There are more pressures, communication is instantaneous, and everyone seems to know your business. I hated when the teachers gave a test back with the big red grade on the top. Anyone is class watching paper distributions would see the grades. This would make me nuts. Today, the grades are given electronically, but the students still know how everyone is doing. The lack of privacy is rampant.

With that said, I have backed off for years....ask a question or two every now and then, and am open to supporting them when they ask for it. Otherwise, I have my own issues to deal who am I going to root for in the hurdles?

Have a great day!

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