Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Don't blame them, thank them

I turned on the TV this morning and saw on the news that Kate Gosselin got "voted off" Dancing with the Stars. I never watched this show, but caught bits and pieces of the horrific John and Kate Plus 8, but am familiar with both. (I actually did watch Kelly Osborne try to dance to "Crazy Train" by Ozzy. It was too damn funny to pass up).

My wife liked John and Kate Plus 8, and I would always yell "Turn the channel.... this is BAD!". I was never okay with the family being the center point of a reality show. I also could not stand the other shows with that same format "Let's see how many kids we can have and profit off of it".

So every time I see Kate intereviewed, she always says "My family is the #1 priority in my life" (I am paraphasing). I saw her say it this morning. She even insinuated that her poor performance was a result of her unbridled passion for her family (Kids).

She did the same thing when people questioned the health of having a show with cameras constantly on her kids (without their consent). She did the same thing in an interview with her husband right as they were splitting. It is like if she just said "I do it for the kids" enough, everybody will give her a free pass.

So this interview this morning just ticked me off to no end. Hey lady.... Go on that stupid show, or don't...... But don't blame your kids for your poor performance!

Whenever politicians say "vote children first ", I usually assume they are more detrimental to the family than they are benenficial. When famous people go out of their way to tell us how much they love their kids, I become suspicious.

How many people do you know who say "I hate my family. I hate my kids."?

Every six months or so I run into a guy I know. A runner. A good runner. A marathoner. Pretty fast. I usually congratulate him on his recent performance. WITHOUT FAIL he says something like "Yeah, but I could do better. I have a family and kids" (I think he has 2). I bite my tongue, but want to say "Maybe we should subtract 5-10 minutes per kid off your time for your hardship"

A few months ago I read an article about a female Crossfitter who was training for the "Crossfit Games". She would come home from work some days and go straight to her workout, putting off family time for an hour. In the comments section of this article, some guy went off on her saying how she was a bad parent and should not be doing this. This guys said something like "I used to do traithlons, but realized I will never get that time back with my family, pushing the kids on the swing". I wish I could remember what he said, but he had no idea of this families' commitment and lifestyle. He looked at one action and concluded she was a bad mom. Some friends of this woman chimed in on the comments and put this guy in his place. I actually felt bad for this guy because I felt he wanted to be out competing, but can't. So he uses the self righteous "family card" to make himself feel good.

One thing I will never do is blame my family for my poor performance. I want my kids to witness how I handle success and how I handle failure. Yes, failure. You can spin words anyway you want, but kids understand failure. I want them to see that when you get knocked down, the good man gets back up and keeps going. He learns from his mistakes. He doesn't piss and moan. He doesn't make excuses. He accepts it, and moves on.

The last thing I want them to see is "My dad performed poorly because of us". or "My dad resents us because we prevent him from doing x, y, z". My family actually laughed at the fact of my last 2 DNFs. I can take it. I think that is a healthy response from them. I thanked them for their support. My wife actually wants them to crew for me soon. (ahhh... dear, you kind of need to have a drivers license).

The challenge of being a husband, a dad, a sales manager, etc., is finding a way to perform with all of this in the equation. Everybody has their own baggage. I am not going to speculate who's bagge is heavier than the next. But we get out there anyway and face the music.

Ironically, as some criticize me for "Spending all of time away from my family doing races" (three to be exact in the first 6 months of the year), I also hear about husbands I know who don't do jack squat around the house. And.... are not involved in their kid's lives.

I guess the right thing to do is sit around all weekend on the couch drinking beer, watching sports.


Anonymous said...

Well said, Matt.

Julie said...

Hi Matt,
I totally agree!! You nailed it on the head:) Great write beautifully!!

Runnin-From-The-Law said...

Ditto what Jen and Julie said.

And don't even get me started on Kate Gosselin . . .

SteveQ said...

If it weren't for sitting on the couch, drinking beer and watching TV, I'd never have seen my dad.

Being the last guy on the planet without kids, I have to say I get tired of hearing people say, "Well, I could run well, too, if I didn't have kids and had all day to do whatever I wanted to do." Man, I wish I had the life people think I have!

Psyche said...

Hey, Matt! Hope your recovery is coming along fine:)

Hey, I have a great idea- My son is running the Half while I run the Full on Sunday- If we don't run up to our expectations we can just blame one another:).

Then we'll blame Kate.

Then we'll kill her.

Seriously, tho- I agree with you. I want my son to see all my wins and all the losses, too. Both are totally valuable and teach us different things.

Guy said...

Matt, five years ago I was not a runner. Never ran. Ever. Last year I ran 8 races of marathon length up to 50 milers, plus a bunch of shorter races. My son has seen (first hand), everything involved in our favorite endeavor: determination, pain, glory, crushing defeat, the will to keep going when you want nothing more than to lie down on the side of the trail and die, the extreme high of finishing something like a fifty-mile trail race, camaraderie, finding and doing something healthy that makes you truly happy, pride, and self-confidence. It's been a great life lesson for both of us.

Word verification: redamby, as if I've dambied before?

Londell said...

Agree fully!!!! People like that also will say work is busy or my parents are sick or... Fact is life is not easy and all aspects enhance out ability or on any given day, ruin. Same for food...

Zach said...

Well said, people (generally sedentary, out of shape people) often ask me how I have the time with the kids and a busy job and what not. I tell people that they have to make it a priority. If it's the lowest priority thing on your list, you'll never fit it in, but if it's important to you, you make it a priority, and you find time. Whether that means running over lunch at work rather than going out with friends, or joining Matt at Afton at 5:30am on Saturday, giving up a lazy sleep in, you can find the time if it's a priority. I think more often than not, people are just looking for an excuse, and the family excuse is one people generally won't give you grief about.