My Son, the Athlete, Begins His College Search: How Wrestling has Taught Him Determination, Motivation, Tenacity, and Honor

College athlete
My son, an accomplished wrestler, begins his college search.

I cannot believe these words are actually coming out of my mouth!  It seems like only yesterday he was born.  This is my baby boy…my baby.

It seems like only yesterday we were in this park, enjoying the simplest things in life.

My baby is not such a baby anymore.  He will always be my baby though!  Abe…that’s my baby.  For my kids, skipping college has never been an option.  College is viewed as a normal stop in their futures–rather, present for Sarah, my daughter.

Years ago, I began goal-setting with the kids, in relation to their close future and distant future.  Naturally, they came up with some silly ideas at first.  As time passed–or rather, flew!–, the ideas matured as the kids did.  In middle school, Abe found his passion:  wrestling.

He actually won several matches his first year.  I will never forget the first time he slammed a kid.  I had videoed him, and after watching the video maybe the 5th time, Abe said, “Now that’s John Cena style!”  For those of you who don’t know John Cena, he is a professional wrestler for the WWE.  This excited him so much that he fell in love with the sport!  We had only signed him up to help him in football.  This was in 7th grade.


As Abe entered the 8th grade, he began wrestling year round, wrestling Olympic styles, Freestyle and Greco, during the spring and eventually summer.  By his freshman year in high school, Abe was competing in national tournaments every summer, travelling to Pennsylvania and North Dakota.

tenacity, motivation, determination
From his freshman year in high school, Abe began wrestling in national tournaments every summer.

And each year before a season begins, he now sets his goal for that season.  His freshman year his goal was to go to state with his high school team.  He did!  That summer he worked so hard training with the nationals team, preparing for Fargo and preparing for the next school season.

Abe began to meet wrestlers from all over the state and the country and became friends with many.  The year before Abe began wrestling at our high school, we lost one of our own.  Matt Walters, an amazing athlete, student, friend, and son, was killed in an auto accident not too far from his home.  Our team honors Matt in many ways.  One is in a shirt that says, “Walk Like Walters.”

Honor
Abe honors fallen wrestler, Matt Walters, in Atlanta as he competes for the Southeast Regional title.

When I looked at Abe’s back and realized what he had on, I beamed with pride at the honor Abe showed in such a special place.  Matt never had this opportunity.  Abe takes his memories with him around the country.

Sophomore year Abe set a goal of placing at state; he placed 4th in the state, with a strong record.  This was not good enough for Abe.  He trained hard for nationals again and came home with a winning record…finally.

Junior year, his goal was to win state.

My baby was in the state finals!

Determination
Abe, walking out onto the mat of the Macon Coliseum, for the state finals.

He made it to the finals, but the title was not to be his this year.  He was unhappy for the loss.

Tenacity
Abe, on the podium, accepting the honor of state runner-up.

This was a blow for Abe.

Before he was all about wrestling in college. 

His tune changed.  Upset about failure, he considered giving up his dreams….just for a moment.  When I began making appointments for college visits for him, he returned back to normal, ready to fight again.  His training began almost instantly.  He watched the finals’ video, analyzing exactly what he had done wrong….what edge he had allowed the kid to have over him.  He vowed to never let that be the reason he lost again.

About a week ago, I had Abe attend a preview day at our local college.  He spent time with college wrestlers and other college kids; he regained his confidence.  He is now excited about his first visit to a Division 1 university.

Abe is an average student.  He is much smarter than his grades show.  He is an awesome test-taker.  Above all, he is an accomplished athlete.  Wrestling has not overshadowed Abe’s education.  Rather, it has developed the best of character in a young man.  Character of

HONOR

MOTIVATION

TENACITY

DETERMINATION.

This character will guide Abe to success, for he will never give up.

He believes he can do anything!  And he will!

Determination
Dream big, set goals, and take action!

This weekend is the next road on the journey to his dreams.  This is the action part.  Let’s do this, son!

Motivation
Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

*This blog is dedicated to Matt Walters, who now rides on the wings of angels.  Matt, who never had the opportunities Abe has had.  We will always remember and honor Matt and thank the Lord for allowing us a new opportunity each day.  If only we all lived like we were dying!*

On a final note, when Abe was a very young boy–maybe 4 years old–his favorite song to sing on the way to school every day was “Live Like You Were Dying.”  He doesn’t remember that, but I do .  He does live life in that way….still!

More to come after the visit….

All the best,

Christy

Song of Sapelo Sunset

 

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Staying Positive in the Most Difficult Situation

The past month has been a total bummer, to say the least…

 

A simple way to stay positive even in the most difficult situations

 

Please note that this page may include affiliate links, which if you click on them and purchase a product, I will receive a commission.  I only provide links for products I truly believe in.

Over a year ago, I found my dream job in a vegetable plant.  It was the perfect combination of management, business, and training.  I worked with an amazing team, as a team.  We defied the odds together, moving a mountain in a plant that had a massive listeria recall 2 years prior.  As a team, we moved that mountain! 

Anyone who’s worked in or visited a manufacturing facility would be shocked to hear that when you walked through this plant, all the employees were working hard and doing so with smiles on their faces. 




 

 

Last Thursday, all smiles were wiped away, and the tears rolled, as our company was sold, and the plant was shut down for good.  In the blink of an eye, we all lost our jobs and benefits.  I have struggled to stay positive over the weekend, as I lost a very dear family, my work family.  This morning, my husband asked me what I would do for the day.  My answer: “I don’t know.”  Weird, coming from someone is so busy she’s spinning in motion! 

 

 Anyone who knows me well knows that’s not me.  I’m a bulldog! I don’t stand down.  Life has taught me to pop back up and get better than before.  (that’s for another blog, another day.) 

 

So, I LOVE to-do lists!  And on my to-do list for the past month has been to transfer addresses into a little address book from a mixture of envelopes and loose papers.  As I looked for a book this morning on my desk, I spotted the address book, and said, “Why not!”  In the middle of the papers, I found a sweet birthday card from a dear friend, and it read:

“Each day holds its own wonder to discover.”

wonder card

I immediately thought, “This is a sign!”  Then, “Wonder what today’s wonder will be!”  Amidst all this pain, depression, and sadness, I remembered how I once stayed positive in a most difficult position.  A dear friend and I would ask each other, as well as others around us, to name 3 positive things that have happened so far that day. 

 

Friends, sometimes wonder is in the simplicity of things.  For example, three positives from my day thus far are:

1.   Ate lunch with my best friend and had awesome conversation!

2.  Giggled as I watched the neighbor’s baby goats frolicking in the pasture. 

baby goats.JPGGiggled even more when the Mama goat came up to my face to say Hello!

 

 

mama goat.JPG

3.  Found an amazing Virtual Assistant Course I will complete this week!  Yesterday morning I found a Pinterest pin about this and just knew I had found something special. 

 

Nothing happens by chance.  Everything happens exactly when and where it is supposed to happen!  Today has been a wonderful day! 

Now, you try it!  Name three positive things that have happened to you today. 

Have a blessed, wonder-filled day!

 

All the best,

Christy

Song of Sapelo Sunset


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Me-Time for the All-Around Mom

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Life of an all-around mom leaves little room for free time. 

Running from practice to practice, game to game.

College move in day.

FAFSA.

Scholarship applications.

College visits.

Athletic recruitment.

Sports fundraising.

Athletic banquets.

The list goes on and on……

Amidst the chaos, it is important to make time for yourself.

Easier said than done!

You will be amazed at what 15 minutes—not long at all—of self-time can do for your soul!




3 SIMPLE IDEAS FOR ME-TIME

  • Take a short walk in your local park. The whistling of the birds is soothing to the soul.  Use this time as exercise or reflection time or simply self-time or a combination of these.

take a walk.png

  • Take a hot bath. The past months of my life have been especially trying and busy.  However, almost daily I come home and run a hot bath just to have 15-30 minutes to zone out alone.  I usually add ¼ cup of Epsom Salt and 10 drops of lavender essential oil to my bath.    This combination draws out toxins and aids in relaxation.
    This combination draws out toxins and aid in relaxation. Often I light a candle. I always take this time to read a book. That is my escape!

 

bath and book.png

 

  • Have a Netflix marathon! I caught myself doing this about 2 weeks ago, watching 15 episodes in a row of Lost.

 



The key is to do something that doesn’t require your brain to think too deeply. And to do something for YOU! Your kids need you to be strong and on top of the world for them. That means you must take care of you! Grab that self-time every chance you can get it. It will only make you a better mom!

All the best,
Christy
Song of Sapelo Sunset

 

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Instilling a Never Give Up Attitude in Your Teen: 3 Successful Tips

 

Teens, tenacity, steadfastness
Instilling a Never Give Up Attitude in Your Teen: 3 Successful Tips
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When you hit a brick wall every corner you turn, giving up is the easy way out.  Now, if parents, the adults, feel this way, imagine how teens feel when they are faced with what appears to be insurmountable mountains!

My favorite quote of all times is

“Never give up!”


by Winston Churchill.  This is my mantra!  When I was a little girl, my family’s home burned to the ground.  We lost everything we owned.  I remember nothing of this except when we moved into a mobile home while my Daddy began building our new home.  I only know the sadness from stories from my family.  What I remember, however, is how my family stuck together and built a home from the ground up.  I remember perseverance, steadfastness, tenacity.  I remember strength and hope as we built our home little by little.  Over forty years later, this is what I still remember…strength and hope.

This strength and hope that my parents instilled in me during such a difficult time provided me with one of the most important tools for my life. Some call it tenacity, others calls it perseverance, and yet others call it steadfastness.   All three words mean the same thing:  Never give up!

From this experience and those with my own children, I have surmised 3 successful tips for instilling a never give up attitude in children:

 

love

1.     Love your child with all your heart…no matter his age.

Teens often don’t make that easy to do.  When I was a teen, I was a spoiled brat.  There is 9 years between my next oldest sibling and me.  My parents tried for 9 years to have me, so to say I was spoiled is an understatement.  Remember though, my family lost everything in the fire, so they did not have material things to spoil with.  Rather they spoiled me with an immense amount of love.

Mama did the majority of the spoiling.  Daddy, on the other hand, was the “bad guy.”  I remember thinking that he didn’t love me.  Why?  Because he wouldn’t let me have my way.  However, in the end of Daddy’s life, I realized he loved me more than anyone in this life.  You see, amidst a horrific and violent marriage, I pushed my parents away.  This lasted for almost a decade.

Daddy NEVER gave up on me!

He prayed and kept trying to get me to talk to him.  I was terrified of my now ex-husband.  How dare I disobey him; now, that’s a story for another time.  I will never forget calling my Daddy collect for the first time in years and hearing his sweet voice on the phone, accepting my call.  He knew I would call.  He had faith in God and in me.  He had faith in the love he had truly shown me.  He never gave up.  And for him, I will never give up.

hope

2.    Give your child hope.

What is more depressing than thinking there is no hope?  A sense of hopelessness can drown an innocent victim.

The college entrance experience was a challenging time for my daughter.  First, she was terrified she wouldn’t be accepted. She wanted to go to SCAD.  She wanted to pursue her passion: Art.  And SCAD was where she wanted to do so.  I continued to ensure her that she would get accepted.  Sarah had the most well-rounded resume for a high school student.  My head spun helping her get her resume together, and I thought I was a busy student.  Sarah was the ultimate juggler.  She still is!

Next came the financial aid struggle.  We worked hours and hours, night after night, on scholarships and other financial aid.  It was a close call, from which we learned many lessons, but her first year was covered.  I remember celebrating that night!  Together, we never gave up, and together we celebrated.

Hope fuels success!

example

3.    Live by example.

In other words, practice what you preach!

You are your child’s first example!

If your teen sees that you give up every time you feel pressure, they will see no reason to persevere.  This fuels low self-esteem.

As a former math teacher, I firmly believe there is a solution to EVERY problem.  The key is when you first don’t succeed, try another way to skin the same cat.  There is always more than one true method to solve a problem.  Live by this in your own life.  Like my Daddy, when our home burned down, he rebuilt, and he built a beautiful home in which our family created the most beautiful of memories.  He made lemonade out of lemons and showed all his children how to rise above the highest mountains.

My kids have truly gone through some difficulties and statistics would dictate they should be failures.  However, they are the most amazing kids!  Not because they are mine.  No!  Because they have been truly resilient and risen above the odds stacked against them.

Children who don’t have this type of positive influence in their lives often become statistics, whether it be from drug or alcohol abuse, physical abuse, prostitution, suicide, etc.

I know teens are often difficult to love.

Believe me!  My daughter truly challenged me.  This doesn’t mean you give up on loving them as their parent.  It just means you have to get a little bit creative with how you love them!

Love, hope, and example grow a well-rounded, steadfast individual.  They instill perseverance, tenacity, steadfastness…tools that will help one survive the worst catastrophes.

May we all persevere and be steadfast!

All the best,

Christy

Song of Sapelo Sunset

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Goal Setting with Teens: 5 Principles & 5 Aspects to Preparing for a Bright Future

Goal Setting with Teens.png

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In my last blog, “Where Did My Baby Go? 4 Ways to Deal with Raising Teens…and Still Love Them,” one tip was goal setting.

Goal setting is a lifelong skill that will guide your child through the darkest of situations.

Goals give hope.  Goals give light at the end of that deep, dark tunnel.  Goals give focus.  Goals motivate and inspire.  Goals achieve results.

Our children will one day be on their own…if they are not already.  When they are, they need to have the tool of goal setting in their “toolbelts.”  Dr. Edwin Locke, an American psychologist and pioneer in goal-setting theory, and his research partner, Dr. Gary Latham, surmised 5 principles for setting goals:

  1. Clarity
  2. Challenge
  3. Commitment
  4. Feedback
  5. Task complexity

CLARITY

clarity-goal

Help your teen set clear, attainable goals.  Everyone needs to see positive results.  Have your teen write down his goals.  Putting it in writing helps make it clearer.

CHALLENGE

Challenge-goals

Help your teen set goals that will challenge him….ones that will make him reach for his full potential.  Challenge involves risk.  A small amount of risk is healthy.  Risk and challenge involve uncertainty, and this can be alarming to a teen. Help him to set challenging goals and follow through to the end result so that he can see the awesome benefits of meeting the challenging goal.

COMMITMENT

COMMITMENT-GOALS

Help your child set goals and stay committed to them.  Never give up.  There is always a way, under, or around, or through.  Sometimes the challenging road to success is littered with potholes and detours, but commitment shows true grit, especially as the goals become more challenging.  Teach your teen to never give up!

FEEDBACK

FEEDBACK-GOALSConstructive criticism is a tough bullet for some people to bite.  Teach your teen how to look at the “man in the mirror” and make true assessments of their current situation.  Have they reached their goal?  If the goal has not been met, what are issues standing in the way, and what are steps to take to successfully meet the goal this time?  Teach him how to accept the feedback of others and how to use this as a gauge of genuine success or failure.

TASK COMPLEXITYTASKCOMPLEXITY--GOALS

Ensure your teen has adequate time to complete complex tasks and meet his goal.  If stress or frustration arise, sit down with your teen, and take an inventory of the current situation, analyzing where things went wrong and determining how to fix these issues.  If necessary, especially in the beginning, break up more complex tasks into smaller chunks so that your teen sees and feels some success along the way.  What is more frustrating than feeling like you’re spinning your wheels in a million directions!

 

SMART Goals

Locke also coined the idea of SMART goals.

S—Specific

M—Measurable

A—Attainable

R—Relevant

T—Time-bound


Have your teen honestly ask himself the following questions regarding the goal:

  1. Is the goal specific?
  2. Is the goal measurable?
  3. Is this goal attainable?
  4. Is this goal relevant in his life?
  5. Are the time constraints for this goal realistic?

Begin with baby steps, even in middle school, especially in middle school, and gradually increase the levels of goals you help your teen set.  In the end, your child, his future wife, his future boss, his future children, etc., will all thank you for teaching him effective goal setting strategy.  Goal setting leads to great success in all areas of life.  While you’re at it, what are your goals for the next 6 months?  The next year?  The next 5 years? The next decade?  You are never too old to set goals.  Reach for the sky!

 

All the best as we reach for our goals,

Christy

Song of Sapelo Sunset

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