The Power of Encouragement

author : tripastor
comments : 3

What if we applied the lesson of encouragement beyond race day? The right word at the right time can work wonders.

It’s race day and everybody’s ready at my house. My one-year-old has his race day milk sports bottle in one hand, and a plastic hand clapper in the other. My four-year-old has a sign that she has made all by herself that simply says “Go Daddy,” and the matching plastic hand clapper. Both kids have on “Go Daddy, Oh Yeah” shirts that match my wife’s “Go Honey, Oh Yeah” shirt. I have the U-Haul loaded with any race day contingency provided for.

Four moments define the day for me. Just before the race starts, my four-year-old corrals my one-year-old over long enough for a hug and kiss from both and a “Gud luu, dahey.” Exiting the water and making my way to T1, above the noise of the rest of the crowd, I hear three voices: my wife, my daughter and my son. The scene is repeated at T2 and again at the finish. I love that they endure waiting and boredom in order to cheer for me. I know it fuels me, but I never knew how much until I was mowing the grass one day.

I had sold my riding mower over the winter and, combined with fertilizer and all the rain you can endure without planning out an ark, my yard had blossomed. I found myself growing increasingly bitter at the training time I was missing to cut my grass with my 22” push mower. While cutting the backyard one day, I heard screaming from the porch and immediately let go of the handle and turned to see what was wrong. Nothing was wrong. My daughter was standing on the back porch with her “Go Daddy, Oh Yeah” shirt on, her “Go Daddy” sign and her clapper, yelling to the top of her lungs, “Good job, yeah Daddy!”

It seems that my daughter had decided to apply what she learned on race day. It worked. After a hug and a kiss, I resumed mowing with a new attitude and that day, I cut grass better than grass has ever been cut in the history of cutting grass! No stray pieces missed, perfectly straight lines, beautiful striping pattern.

What if we applied the lesson of encouragement beyond race day? I cannot help but wonder what difference we may make in someone’s day, week, maybe even life. So make sure to encourage the other athletes on race day for sure, but consider making every day race day with regard to encouragement.


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date: August 7, 2007