Tips From Fourth Grade: On Winning Your Journey

14980806_10208121771190247_1323290811323443701_nOf the many joys I have in running LifeArt Studio, one of the very best is getting to work with Emily McFaul Coon, my communications coordinator. She is a remarkable woman in many ways—smart, insightful, creative, clever, and a beautiful writer, as you will see below. Last week, she made a post on  Facebook  about her nine-year old son, Jesse, receiving the Genesee Valley Kart Club's Dick Caster Junior Sportsmanship Award, by member vote. This post says so much about Emily’s son and his accomplishments, but it also speaks volumes about Emily, and the high standards of living she holds for her children and herself.

I asked to share her post because what she says here about Jesse’s dedication to kart racing turns out to be a kind of manifesto that can inspire all of us. It’s about passion, setting goals, dealing with set-backs, learning perseverance, and developing integrity. I aspire to be like Jesse.

Here’s what she wrote:

Of all the awards Jesse has earned (and thanks to the club, there was another armful last night) this one means the most.

Karting was the first thing to light a fire in Jesse. Virtually every Sunday since first grade, April to October, he's been at the race track. Pushing himself to make a perfect lap, set up the perfect pass, shave a tenth off his best time.

For a parent, it's a special kind of joy to see a child fall in love with something, set his own goals, and reach them through his own passion, focus, and dedication.

It's even better to see your child begin to understand that the trophy only means something when the journey has been a good one.

If he's reached for his personal best, every time, even when he could sit back and take it easy. If he’s shown up relentlessly, no matter whether it was a good day or not. If he's shown respect for the service of officials and volunteers, regardless of whether a call was ideal or the starting flag perfect. If he's raced clean, no matter whether other drivers choose to do the same. If he finds joy in the chase and congratulates another driver who has taken the finish. If he remembers the feelings of other people when he celebrates his own wins. If he can begin to help other drivers to grow in the same way and achieve their own personal best.

Keep it up, kid. Proud of you.

jesse-racing-coverHere’s Jesse in his kart. Pretty cool, don’t you think? Congratulations, Jesse!

And thank you, Emily!


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