When my son, Ryan, was seven he joined a little league team. I knew it was not the standard low-key youth arena I experienced as a child. The first question I was asked when he joined was “how many years has he been playing?” My uneasiness with the question and the competitive nature of our local little league was an easy set up for fear.
Would he be bullied for a limited skill set? When he rounded third base for the first time and ran directly into the dugout, was I being judged? When did youth coach pitch become minor league baseball? If we practice 5 hours a day will I get him up to par with the kids who, apparently, began tee ball at birth.
Yes, my fear and inability to stay in the moment with each smile, frustration, and life experience almost wore me down. Then I remembered my promise to my son, to be his biggest cheerleader in life. My purpose was to champion his dreams and be present for all of it.
In that moment, I was an observer to his footprint into this thing called life. I was not intimidated by overzealous parents purchasing two hundred-dollar bats while expecting complete perfection or those over critiquing the young athletes with less experience. I came to realize through the season the pure joy of being a tireless cheerleader of all children. This was also the time it became clear to me that the most competitive sport around is parenting. Perhaps, only beating out business and personal success by a slim margin.
In my career, I have been a pom-pom in hands cheerleader as well as a self-absorbed solitary player. Today, I am very clear on who I want to be. I believe the only way to truly succeed is by having those around me do the same. Personally, this has been the only way I have found joy and fulfillment in my career and life.
Cheerleading everyone in our life is the best position on the field. I have been blessed with many cheerleaders and they have opened the space for possibility and self-love. Can you imagine what this world would look like if we cheered on everyone in our life?