Having the Guts to Lose
It's confession time... There is a Peoria IL Chess Club that gets together every Monday night to battle it out. The painful reality is that I have lost every time that I have gone and played someone else face to face in that venue. In fact, one of those losses was to an 8 year old. You heard me... The Chinese tactician who completely annihilated my strategy was a child that will have to wait twice his lifetime to get his license to drive.
Here is another game where I played an older gentlemen who looked like he was ready to fall asleep at any moment. Who lost his queen early in the game? >This Guy<
At this point I think my notation wavered as I was so frustrated with myself. You better believe that I have thought about quitting after getting whacked multiple times over in this type of fashion. Yet, in spite of all this, someone wrote "Chess King" on my name plaque at work this week. It seems like I hold my own when it comes to playing within our chess group at work but get outside those walls and the reputation changes.
What I can say is that I'm getting better. Win or lose, I am pressing in to consistently learn. Why is Rocky Balboa such a monumental figure to the American Spirit? Could it be that we relate to those who struggle and don't pull back from their passion in the face of adversity? The Bible says that "the righteous fall seven times and rises again" (Proverbs 24:16)
Even (and especially) the best in this life fall often. It's what we do with the fall that makes us a success or failure. Chess, like life, is full of pitfalls and your fighting heart will get crushed at times but that is all a part of growing as an individual. If you can't handle losing, you won't know the joy of experiencing a perfectly timed combination or feel the breakthrough in life that comes from sustained hard work and discipline.
Chess is one of the few games that I feel makes us better people as we continue to sign up and play again. In life, if we don't learn how to stand in the face of loss and build resiliency, then we will not be able to accomplish much. Anything worth fighting for will certainly not come to us easy, whether on a board or in the game of life.
What do you think? Have you ever felt like giving up after a crushing defeat? Please share your thoughts!
Keep Rockin It,