Recently, my 5-year-old nephew, Lincoln, began racing "duht bikes" (he can't pronounce his "R"s very well...it's cute). Last weekend, he had a race. My brother, the proud papa who started Lincoln racing, gave me a call and invited me out. So, of course I packed up the car and drove the 3 1/2 hours through the California desert to watch my nephew race. We packed up sandwiches, soda, chips, fruit and water and headed out past Parker to watch the race. My brother has recently started racing as well and got a few practice runs on the track for his races the following day.
It ends up that only a few kids showed up for the race. And, by a few, I mean three (the absolute bare minimum "a few" can be). The kids just practiced and practiced, hoping more kids would show up. Unfortunately, they didn't. The owner of the track didn't want to disappoint the kids who did show up and decided that they would referee a race anyway just for fun. One of the kids had something break on their bike, so they were unable to race. That left my nephew and another kid, who looked like he had been riding since before he could walk. The kids were excited about racing around the track, though. They didn't care it was just the two of them.
When the checkered flag flew, my nephew, the other boy (who was about 8 or 9) and two of the older kids that helped build the track were racing around as fast as they could. Everytime they passed my little nephew, they would slow down to make him feel a part of the race for a while and then speed up and race each other again. The encouragement my nephew received from these guys made him try harder. And, when everyone else was done and off the track, he just kept going until he finished all of his laps and my brother called him off the track. All of the parents were hootin' and hollerin' as all the boys went by. But, I think my nephew got the most because he just kept going. It's not important whether you win or lose. It's important that you finish the race.