Both my sons made it to the gold medal round of their hockey season yesterday.  The 10-year-old played first and in a nail-biting game, they won the cup.  Cheers and celebrations created wonderful memories.  Then it was my 13-year-old son’s turn.  They won every game in the regular season, except the final one, and ended up top in points.  They came second in the round robin before winning the game that brought them to the finals.  They were ready for the ice.

In another nail-biter, they were up 2-0 and then tied at 2-2.  The game ended and we entered the first overtime period.  And then the second overtime.  After multiple shots on the opposition’s goalie, the other team bounced one in to our net.  In that split second it was over.  Cheers erupted on the other side of the stands.  Silence on ours.  There is nothing wrong with silver, but it tastes a little different when you were going for the gold.

It’s hard to lose a game like that, but I tried to explain that if you give your all and try your best, you win in the bigger game of life.

Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games.  Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

And Richard David Bach once said, “That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games.  Losing, in a curious way, is winning.”

I know it doesn’t feel that way at the time, but I do know that failure always comes before success and if we get up when we fall, we are one step closer to our goal.

In hockey and in life, I know that as Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss one hundred per cent of the shots you don’t take.”  So here’s to taking shots, not worrying about winning or losing, and growing into the people we were all meant to be.