Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Proudest Moment

I was blessed with two fantastic sons. For all of the heartbreak and disappointment that life can hand out, my boys have been the equalizer. Yesterday was another shining example of my son Robert's amazing heart and soul.

Since he was 7, Robert has been a soccer player. He's played rec. He's played club. He's played indoor. This is a kid who never misses a practise. Would cut off his arm if keeping it meant he would miss a game.

At 15 Robert is probably 5'8, 120 pounds. Not exactly an imposing physical specimen. That said, he attends a high school that won the mythical national championship two years ago, and is a perennial front runner for state championships.

Robert knew the task of making his high school team would be daunting. So since June of 2008, he committed himself to a street and weight room training program. Four days a week he lifts. Seven days a week he runs. Five days a week he works his footskills. And yet, to be honest, Robert is still best defined by the size of his heart, not the size of his biceps. In fact, if Robert's body parts could be individually weighed, my guess is that his heart would be 118 of his 120 pounds.

I'm not going to tell you that he has the greatest soccer skills. I'm just going to tell you that he left the Urgent Care filled with anti-biotics so that he could make it to first day of try-outs. He was to run 3 miles in 21 minutes. Since he had been routinely doing that for the past several months, no issue. Other than that he coughed up blood at the 1-3/4 mile spot and had to stop.

The next two days of tryouts were indoors. He's a midfielder, but because he was ill, he had to play defense to conserve his lung power. He thought he had played pretty well. But as these things go, he was not selected for the team.

Some kids would be bitter. Not Robert. He posted on Facebook that he was happy for the other kids that made it. And he woke up this morning with a new plan rededicating himself to the training so that when he moves to Ballard High School this upcoming year his game, his body, his soul will be undeniable.

They have a name for people like Robert. Winners. That's what they are. I could not be more proud of the kid. Thank you God for entrusting him to me and his mom.


  1. Great post. Inspiring. Great that he hasn't lost that innocent sense of values and caring despite getting into those teen years that can strip away those attributes real quick, especially into today's society.

  2. As a mama, I don't like hearing the part about how your boy was coughing up blood when he should have been home in bed… but you're a papa -- and you're a papa who talks about his boy's *heart*. How cool is that? Determination is something you get in trouble for when you're a child, and need infinite doses of as an adult. You deserve to be proud, papa.

  3. Penina ... we weren't thrilled when we heard the coughing up blood part either. My wife Mary made a few calls to others who had kids on the team, and they told her that if he could walk around the track, he should make the attempt. So he attempted. It's too easy to get focused on the result and not on the desire, determination, and willingness to partiipate despite odds.

    I just came home after spending the weekend with him. His mom must have done a great job raising him. The boy rocks.