It didn’t take too long for life to come around and give Mark another bit of adversity… but this time it wasn’t in sport, and it wasn’t in something that was as fantastic as biking. This time the challenge came in Grade 11 Physics. To say that Physics presented Mark a challenge is an understatement.
It was not an easy go for Mark… that is to bounce off the bottom that Grade 11 Physics presented. A new attitude towards learning was required, a new approach to asking for and receiving assistance was required, and most importantly, Mark had to apply lessons he learnt in sport, into life. He bounced. Just like he bounced off the ground and back on his bike at the CycloX race, he bounced off the dismal tests and assignment scores he received at the start of the semester.
Hence, the value of sport.
The ribbons, the medals, the podiums, the personal bests are fantastic, and should be celebrated, but the bottoms that sport creates, and typically in greater quantity than tops – as in the lack of a podium, the lack of a new best time, the lack of qualifying for a team or a specific competition – that is where the true value of sport resides. But to extract that value requires a coaching philosophy and a coach who sees these points not as memories to be deleted, not as instances to reprimand, but moments that must be examined, evaluated, explored, so that the experience can be extracted, the lessons gained so that they can be applied later back into sport, and more importantly into life (outside sport).
We will all run into bottoms in life… in our health, in relationships, in our finances, in our careers and businesses. Question is… how will you bounce? If you cannot answer that question with confidence, with experience and memories to draw from, to stand upon, empowering you to recall that you can bounce because you have bounced before, then maybe you, maybe your child are in need of sport with coaching alongside that will help develop the skills needed to excel, to succeed.
I truly believe that Gr 11 Physics, just like Race #2 of the 2017 Kelso Cyclocross series will be memories that Mark will stand upon through out life, reminding himself that he has had times of adversity, he has hit bottoms, and he has bounced, and bounced high.
P.S. Would like to use this opportunity to thank Mark’s Gr 11 Physics teacher Mr Colterman for communicating with me so that we could tag team to help Mark out. Its wonderful that there are teachers out there willing to take the time to reach out, connect with parents in hopes that the trajectory of a student can be turned around. Thank you.