How Do You Want To Win?

I risked embarrassing my 7th grade daughter last night at the Cross Country meet in front of her teammates.
But it was a risk I was willing to take for the sake of leadership.
Because leadership is a lifestyle, not a title. There is no age requirement or level of education needed to be a leader.
My girls know that at a meet, we cheer for every single runner no matter the jersey they are wearing, that we cheer for greatness, for those who are out there pushing themselves physically and mentally.
The same goes for life. We cheer for greatness. We want everyone to do their best. Which doesn’t mean that we don’t want to also do great, or do our best.
It’s not an ‘or’ situation, it’s an ‘and’.
It comes down to asking yourself the question, “How do you want to win?”.
I saw Vivi’s teammates starting to head towards camp after the last main group of the 8th grade runners from their team passed.
And risking embarrassing my daughter, said to them:
“Girls, this is what we’re going to do, we’re staying here and cheering for every single runner that goes by- no matter what team they are from. And when our final runner comes, we are going to lose our freakin minds cheering like she has never heard before.”
They stayed.
They cheered on every single runner, not with a disinterested clap or ‘good job’, but with genuine desire to motivate and encourage.
And when those runners looked up to see who was invested in helping them- they saw the colors not of their school, but that of a rival team. They may have finished the season undefeated but it was this moment that made them champions in my eyes.
I am always saddened by the number of coaches, parents, and runners who stand in silence until their teams run by.
To me, that is a missed opportunity for leadership and kindness.
It’s a good thing that leadership is a lifestyle, not a job title.
If you doubt the power of positive encouragement, watch an XC meet.
You’ll see the words of motivation and encouragement ignite a spark inside a runner and empower them to lift up their head and finish stronger than they thought they could.
The same applies in life.
Never miss an opportunity to be a leader and cheer for greatness.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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