Always Have a Goal

Our summer is in full swing. Both kids are adjusting to the routine of a new camp. So far, so good. Or, in Ryan’s case, so OK.

He has enjoyed some of the activities, but doesn’t feel like he fits in — a continuing theme from the school year.

Ryan has been talking about goals this summer, and has set a couple for himself: one short and one long-term. This summer, he wants to get stronger. He was unhappy with how he performed on the strength part of physical fitness testing in gym, and wants to do something about it.

Veronica helped him master some basic exercises — push-ups, planks, and some light weight work with dumbbells. What started as a casual idea has become much more than that. At any given moment, Ryan will drop and knock out a set of 15 push-ups. He does this perhaps a dozen times a day.

The best part? He sees that he’s getting results, and he’s proud of himself.

I figure that this is an area where Ryan’s intense focus can help him. When he’s interested and motivated, he tends to pour himself into an activity. We want to design a workout for him with clear-cut goals each day, and the ability to track his progress. He loves numbers and stats, and I’m hopeful that he’ll enjoy and take pride in monitoring his development.

Ryan’s other goal is long-term. He wants to make the high school hockey team in two years. He was encouraged by how he did on a town-based team in a spring league, and is taking some hockey development classes this summer.

He’s also being very realistic. He told us that his goal is to make the team, but if he doesn’t, he wants to be their statistician. He’s going to get some practice in that regard by keeping stats for the street hockey team he played on the last few summers. He has aged out of the program, but his wonderful coach has generously offered to let Ryan help out and be around the practices and games.

After years of wondering if Ryan thought much about his future, it’s very exciting to hear him express clear-cut goals, and to see him pour himself into making them a reality.

His sudden fervor for push-ups maybe somewhat obsessive, but as obsessions go, I’ll take it. The look on his face as he feels his developing biceps is worth it.

20140709-090623-32783671.jpg
Bryce Harper, right, rocks the “Sun’s out guns out” T.

If he keeps this up, I told him I’m going to get him a “Sun’s out guns out” t-shirt — one made famous by his favorite baseball player, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.
I taught Ryan the “You got your tickets to the gun show?” routine, which he finds hilarious. But he won’t take the bait — he hasn’t met his goal.

Yet.

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10 thoughts on “Always Have a Goal

  1. What a great idea to focus his intensity on exercise – I need to figure out how to do that, too. Brilliant!

    My son is experiencing the same sense of social isolation on his Minecraft – AutCraft server – people don’t join him for games when he asks. I have started coaching him on relationship-building “small talk” like complimenting people on stuff he likes and things they’re good at. Ironically, I am hoping for reciprocity from a group not known for reciprocal skills. Optimist am I!

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