“One game. If we played ’em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world.” Herb Brooks in the movie Miracle
This past weekend there were regional track meets across the state of Michigan and our third child, Mitch a freshman at Northern Michigan Christian, participated in his first running the 200m, 400m and the 800m relay.
He’s had a good season, one where he had some success but also learned a lot. Coming into regionals he knew he’d be battling against older, more experienced runners and he was also recovering from the flu he had earlier in the week.
So needless to say he wasn’t brimming with confidence as Saturday approached.
I told him two things in an effort to combat his dwindling confidence –
First, I told him that all he could do was to give it his best and if he did his mom and I would be proud of him no matter what place he received.
And second, I told him that state qualifying wasn’t determined by what happened during the season but what happened in the regional meet. The only day that mattered was Saturday. I wanted him to know that on any given day anything can happen.
Now I can’t report that the day ended for Mitch like it did 30 years ago for the 1980 USA Hockey Team. It wasn’t that “given day” but I can say that Mitch gave it his best and more importantly as we talked on the way home he shared his new-found vision of what his future regional meets could look like and what it’ll take to achieve that vision.
And as it turns out, that talk on the ride home was his best performance of the season.