My teenage kids have been brought up with this quote in the forefront of my parenting and it has been interesting to see how emphasizing hard work has panned out over time. One is a ballet dancer and one plays hockey. One is more naturally talented, one struggles a bit more. Both are gifted students going to a rural school that is fine but not particularly challenging. I have told my husband all along that the extracurricular activities were not an end in themselves but a way for both of them to develop a work ethic doing something they love. And it has worked. Both are very self motivated students with very good grades and like all things in parenting, it is a case of so far, so good, with the future yet to be determined.
So, all is good(so far!) on the academic front but it has been interesting to see how things have panned out in dance and hockey. Money has been spent on extra lessons, clinics, and camps. Hard work has been emphasized. And the ugly truth has come out. Talent that works really hard wins it all. Period.
The less talented kid came to this conclusion earlier, works hard to be in the middle of the pack, and still loves the activity. The more talented kid is just coming to the realization that even with the hardest of hard work, the even more talented who work hard will always be better. A hard pill to swallow but still loves the activity. The interesting thing is that both have tremendous drive in a lot of other areas of life. A parenting win.
You might(rightly!) wonder what this has to do with dressage biomechanics. I guess the answer is that I always wanted to give my kids more financial support for the activities they love than I received growing up. I always wondered how much better I could have been as a rider with more money behind my work ethic. After watching my kids I think my answer is better, but still way behind those with even more natural talent, money, AND a work ethic. Then I look over the course of my life and realize how the drive to excel as rider has carried over into all aspects of my life in such a positive way. Talk about a win win.