For the past six years, I’ve participated in competitive swimming. But this past September, I decided to quit.
Poetry by Carol Penner
Once upon a time, my wife and I decided that our kids would not play hockey and, more importantly, that we would never be “hockey parents.” Hockey was expensive, brought out the worst in both kids and their parents, was expensive, unnecessarily violent, expensive, involved excessive amounts of travel and early mornings at frigid rinks… and was expensive.
The fabric of western society is woven with threads of competition. People compete for marks in school, for jobs, for attention with family and friends. People even compete for the fun of it. Television shows like Survivor, American Idol, and The Apprentice pit one player or team against another in ever-changing competitive environments.
We’ve probably all heard about the benefits of participating on sports teams – values such as teamwork, loyalty, self-sacrifice, perseverance, and work ethic. Playing on a team gave me many opportunities to develop in these areas. Team athletics also taught me a lot about myself, and helped me prepare for life in and outside the competitive arena.