Sunday, March 11, 2012

Piano as a Sport

Yesterday was a big day for my daughter. She was in a piano competition that was district wide. To make a comparison, this would be like a lower basketball team beating a higher basketball team to move on and get into the tournament. If she did well in this competition, she would move on to the state competition in two weeks. 

To throw a monkey wrench in the works, she got tennis elbow a couple of weeks ago. Who knew that you could get tennis elbow from playing piano?!! Apparently, it is not only possible, but it happens quite often. She even has to have physical therapy. When she saw the physical therapist on Friday morning, he said not to use her arm at all until Saturday. But Lindsey does things her own way when it comes to her music so she did run through her pieces Friday night and Saturday morning, but she said she felt good about playing.

Finally it was Lindsey's turn to play. She went into the room and my mom and I stood outside the door waiting the five or so minutes. We could not hear anything so we had no idea how she was doing. As soon as the door opened, Lindsey rushed out and burst into tears as if her world was falling apart. She said that in the last piece (ironically, it is the same piece that originally injured her arm) her arm got very tense and she felt like she couldn't move it anymore. The way she made it sound, it was like the whole thing was a hot mess! She was crying and everyone was looking at us with pitiful eyes. 

We tried to comfort her and tell her things like at least you tried or you did your best and that is all you can do. Because there are many people who would have just dropped out. She never even considered that. My mom whispered to me, "I just hope she didn't make a 'Very Good'" which is not very good! 

Soon, they came with the envelope that held the certificates and started calling names. When they called Lindsey's, we could all immediately see the gold seal, meaning that she got a superior. Lindsey and my mom both started crying, everyone was so happy!
The lesson to take from this is even when things seem stacked against you, keep going. But even if she had not done as well, I still would have been proud of her. Not everyone would have tried as hard as she did with an injury. These days, parents are so quick to make sure their kids don't have their feelings hurt, or that that their kids always win that kids do not know how to lose anymore. My kids do not play sports and sportsmanship really is not something we have a need to talk about as Lindsey is the only one who "competes" in anything...if you want to call piano competition a sport. But even if she had received something less than superior, she would have still congratulated her fellow competitors and honestly meant it! She is really a great kid!! 

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