Saturday, October 29, 2011

Winning Rocks and Losing Stinks

Everyone knows how to win: laughing, smiling, high fives, dancing, gloating, re-telling the glory stories which grow with every telling.

But... losing well is quite another skill. To be honest, a skill that no one even wants to learn. The more I walk around this planet, the more I realize that losing is more a part of life than winning. I have lost many more times in my life than I have won!

Still... winning rocks and losing stinks.

Last year's Kinleystead high school football season gifted us with a very unexpected outcome:

This second game, season- ending, snapped- in- half clavicle.

And this broken bone produced a very sad football player:

Losing Stinks.

No words to describe the feeling of last season. To see my son pour his heart and life into this sport for an entire year: the running, the pumping iron, the off-season conditioning, the very grueling Arkansas summer two-a-days, and the dreams for a great football season... crushed in one play.

What a loss it was. If I think about it for any length of time, the emotions easily return. I still don't know why it happened, but it did.

The response my son had, however, will forever inspire me. He picked himself up when many would have quit and, as soon as that bone healed, threw his whole self back into football... for the next ten months.

There was much eating to gain weight. There was a pulled hamstring set-back. There were many team bonding experiences. There were practices and conditioning every day. When summer arrived, my son hit the field on days when the thermometer registered 130 degrees.

Nothing stopped him.


All that he worked toward was for this season... his last season of football...

his "Senior Football Year".

I wish I could report that the Warriors will be headed to the play-offs. I wish the dream of winning a state championship was still alive. But this has been a hard season full of losses which finds me wondering again,

"What is to be learned from losing?"

I have to say... I'm still trying to learn.

Last night was the last away game for my senior football player. It was his last time to ride the bus with his teammate brothers who he dearly loves. It was a cold, autumn night with a bright moon shining in the sky. The hope of winning was high. It was an evening full of everything a high school football game ought to be.

That's My Number Nine.

The Senior Football Moms had decided to be obnoxious and rowdy. We all had painted signs to show our guys how proud we are of them for playing hard, for not giving up, for still sticking together through adversity, for playing their very best until the final whistle, for coming back week after week.

The cheerleaders love our Senior Mom rowdiness, and so did the guys!

We loved cheering for our sons, too.

Especially me... because being loud and rowdy and obnoxious is one of my gifts.

Yea... it's true and here's some proof.

And, yet more proof. This is my serious-yellin' pose.

I like to think we Senior Football Moms had a chance to make a game-changing difference. We yelled until we had no voices left. My husband yelled too, but he was sweet to tolerate my crazy screaming. After all, it was my very last time to cheer loudly for my very last son.

We have one more game, but it is at home and: 1.) I don't yell loud at home games. 2.)It will be "Senior Night", and we parents have to walk out on the field escorted by our sons. Walking out onto the field means I have to dress up a bit and try to look cute and hold in my stomach and make sure I don't have any... umm... gray roots showing, so I won't scare all the younger moms who will be thinking, "Is that what I will look like when my child is a senior?"

Yup. Sorry to deliver that news to you.

Back to last night's game: I am happy to report that the Warriors won with a final score of 34 to 19. It was a happy night full of yelling, camaraderie, high- fiving the person next to me, even if I don't know them very well, and enjoying a sweeeeeeet win.

No one had to teach me how to celebrate because winning rocks.

After the game with our incredible Number Nine.

P.S. I have notecards and refrigerator magnets for sale in my Hillcrest Cottage Etsy Shop.


  1. You are so awesome! winning ... or losing ... Bev Kinley Rocks!

  2. your baby is so lucky to have a mama like you doing signs and cheering from the stands. He got that determination and desire to be the best from someone – I'm not wondering too hard about from whom. And yes, winning rocks – losing – well losing doesn't rock. I wish your son's season had gone better – I do know this – he couldn't have a better mama. God bless and keep you and all of yours Rosaline.