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“How twisted is that”? She asked. “What do you mean”? I answered my wife with a question to hers. “You know how weird that sounds”? She continued, throwing another question on what was quickly becoming a contest to see who could communicate by only asking questions.

I caved. “I don’t think it’s twisted at all”! – “I think throwing up shows the kind of character she’s developing,”! was my declaration and defense of an earlier statement. “I agree, her sisters will be proud of her,” – “It just sounds bad”! My wife added. “All the Lacrosse girls would be proud of her”! I proudly announced.

After our youngest finished her first cross country race of the year, she shared with me that she had barfed. I wasn’t too surprised, I’d seen another girl stop about 100 yards short of the finish line and hurl, although that girl didn’t finish the race.

Having grown up in Arizona and having played sports in the intense August and September heat, puking is standard operating procedure for the people who are pushing themselves.

I’ve tossed my cookies more than once under similar circumstances. When I coached girls Lacrosse, anyone who threw up due to pushing themselves received “hero status” for the day. The other girls would even cheer and clap for the girls losing her lunch, and not in a joking or sarcastic way.

I instilled in them a different perspective when it came to up-chucking. I’m not as twisted as this may sound, let me try to explain. Everyone has gifts and talents. How we apply our gifts and talents are really the only difference.

I believe when kids are young they will begin the habits that will follow them all of their lives. The young people who learn or get into the habit of quitting during their formative years will be prone to quit as adults.

If our children aren’t taught or encouraged to persevere, they will ultimately forfeit their natural desires and gifts. I also believe while God given talent can take a person a long way, it can’t take a person nearly as far as desire and perseverance.

I think we as a nation and as Christians should be the ones setting the example. I don’t care where a person finishes. Yes, winning, or a better term; being victorious or triumphing is the desired outcome, true winning comes from never quitting.

The gratification gained by pursuing the self-discipline within to push and keep pushing can only be measured and calculated over the course of a lifetime. The ones who push and never quit, regardless of where they end up, are the epitome of a winner.

I don’t know one person in this life who has won everything all the time. I can say from life experience, the best way to learn how to be triumphant is to go through the losing process over and over.

In the end, the real blessing or gift is the one learned, experienced, and it is sometimes through gut-wrenching pain, whether physically or emotionally. The times we learn to keep going when we want to quit are the developed art of how to succeed and win.

I love Paul’s simple analogy of his Christian life to sporting events. “I’ve run the good race, I’ve fought the good fight.” Through beatings, being stoned, shipwrecks, and attempts on his own life is how Paul gained his perspective about life.

Through pain and endurance, both God and Paul considered it good. Our kids may as well begin to learn it young. I’d say to to run a good race with purpose and endurance, while lungs are burning, struggling for air, lactic acid is burning in all parts of the legs and not giving up, even after throwing up, is indeed hero status.

I’m proud of my little one. Now she has earned stories to share and build on, especially with her big sisters, who’ve been there and done that…

I think sometimes the seemingly insignificant events in a life can make all the difference.

Even the emptying of a stomach.

Maybe sometimes by giving up some guts… You get more…