Wednesday, October 26, 2011
"Come on dad, let's arm wrestle," I challenge him during a recent visit to my parents' home. I had won a match oh, 20 years ago after he made one too many chauvinistic remarks. Although he's now 82 and I'm a little more than half his age, surely I can easily beat him again I thought. The former Navy man walks five miles every morning, grabs a donut, then sits and meditates (code for "sleeps") for the rest of the day. Snoring's not the best arm muscle building activity I suspect. This should be an easy win.
Dad slowly makes his way to the kitchen table and prepares for the match. He fixes his elbow and puts a death grip on my hand. Ouch. Wait dad. I didn't say "Go" yet. My mom and son watch quietly close by. Okay, dad, On your mark. Get Set. Go! Dad's off to a strong lead. I wanted to hold my own against the man who growing up, kept saying women were the weaker gender. Come on inner self, find that warrior woman. Prove dad wrong. Prove dad... He won. Just like that. I felt defeated. He quietly redeemed himself. He must have used those hand weights I bought him last Christmas. I didn't see this loss coming.
But this challenge sparked my dad to victory. And I too will take this loss to spark myself into fitness. Today I did a three mile walk/light jog in the park after a four month absence. When I wanted to slow down today I just visualized my 82 year old dad's armwrestling win. I didn't focus too long on the defeat but rather on what I learned from the challenge.
#1: Overconfidence occasionally backfires -and-
#2: If you believe you can ... then you will.