I have found that I am most successful at writing first thing in the morning. I have incorporated 20 minutes of writing into my daily morning routine, keeps me consistent and starts off my day with a time of reflection. This is when my blogs take shape and are often based on something that is heavy on my heart, has inspired me or maybe just how great my coffee is that morning.  Today’s blog is no different. I was inspired by my friend’s 11-year-old son, Stiles, who just won his second national championship title in ATV moto racing. He races every weekend. Some are local but many weekends the family travels to races all over the United States. They are so dedicated to this sport that they even built their own dirt track in their backyard for Stiles to practice. When I say they eat and breathe racing…they do.  

Some would say that parents put too much pressure, time, and money into sports for their children. They argue that kids miss out on life by playing a “game.” Others say sports are more than just a game. This side would say that sports grant children the opportunity to be their best and compete at a higher level. Oftentimes, the pulse of a family can be connected to a sport, and provide more memories and life lessons than anything else.

A few weeks ago, as I scrolled through Facebook, a picture of Stiles popped up in my newsfeed. Stiles stood on a stage with confidence in his sleek gray suit and tie, while rocking a solid white pair of Air Force 1 to accept his national championship trophy.  A simple picture that, to most, shows a young man receiving a trophy for mastering his sport, but I saw so much more…which brings me to today’s blog.  

Stiles West receiving his 2nd National Championship Trophy! 6th grade!!

In today’s society, when people see achievement in others they tend to analyze their achievement before anything else. Many try to discredit others’ achievement by assuming a last name, popularity, appearance, wealth, or equipment/tools give them some unseen advantage. How do I know this to be true? Because to this day — as an adult mind you — people have questioned my success.

“It’s easier for you because you’re pretty.”

“You are successful because so many people know you.”

Why are these things hurtful? Because my success and achievements are connected to surface-level attributes and not to my heart and passion. These people who question a goal I have met or an honor I have been given don’t take time to learn my story. They don’t know that everything I do is to honor my brother who inspired my entire journey or the parents that sacrificed everything for him. But most importantly they don’t know the sacrifices I have made or countless hours of hard work I have put in. 

These people are not alone. As a society, I think we tend to only see the surface — of people, thoughts, opinions. We tend to compare our own personal journeys to others, but in reality the timing of the journeys is different. I believe that  the “everyone wins a trophy” mentality has created the mindset that all journeys are the same and should be credited the same. I think when we do this, we discredit the dedication and hard work individuals put into becoming better, while giving a false belief that all journeys are the same to those that receive a trophy for just being present. 

What others , that happened to come across the photo of Stiles winning his second national championship may not have seen was a young man that put in hard work, established habits that reflected his goals, made sacrifices, and was dedicated even when it was difficult. Some are willing to do this and some are not. For some, it takes less time to master these practices than others, which is why each of our journeys is different.

Like Stiles, a sport impacted my life and shaped my journey. It taught me about the work and habits one must put in to achieve, which are often unseen. When someone shames another person’s success from the nosebleed section, we must remember not only our own self-worth, but also that that person is still trying to master their own practices to find success.

Did you know I had podcast? The intention of the podcast is to share “pieces of me” in the hopes it impacts others’ journeys.  Everything from growing up with a brother with a disability,  teaching individuals with disabilities, empowering women, learning to lead, coaching, being a mom (especially a boy mom), to fighting through the thoughts of self-doubt. Each will be a piece of me intended to create a better piece within you.  

Follow me on Instagram to connect and come along on this journey with me! 

Take a listen! Links are below for all your favorite podcast platforms!

Pieces of Me Podcast for Apple

Pieces of Me Podcast – for Spotify

Pieces of Me Podcast – for Google Play

Pieces of Me Podcast – for Breaker

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