I begin my defense with a quote from the 1954 film, Three Coins In The Fountain: "Punctuality is the Vice of Virtuous Women." Rather than focus on the fact that those article writers who have thus discharged their vitriol are also lacking in a virtue, namely charity, I wish to offer them a different perspective that may help them to understand the struggle, encourage and, maybe even root for some hard working athletes trying to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness!
It may not have occurred to some of you - for whom punctuality comes easily - that it is not universally easy. For me, it's like a sport, an extreme sport - and I've never before been much of an athlete. In order to get there (anywhere) on time, I have to overcome some difficult obstacles and I am severely lacking in the necessary specialized skills. I have to know how long it takes to get there, know how to get there and not turn the wrong way, remember what I need to take the first (or second) time I get into the car, get my children into the car (the margin of error on this one can span from five to twenty minutes). There are other small variables that may, but usually don't happen as well, like one of my children escaping the seat belt, requiring pulling over. This is a feat that requires concentration, and yet, I have to contend with questions, whining, lessons being read aloud. Even before I start the car, intense planning is necessary: in what order must I approach the course obstacles in order to arrive at that one on time?
I participate in this sport not to lose, but to win. I want to win!! I want to arrive on time! Oh, sure, I could just go the day before and camp out with my kids in order not to give you an opportunity to practise patience, charity and mercy. But that seems a little unreasonable to me. Besides, I want to hone my skills.
This is a solitary sport, like rock climbing, parachuting, deep freediving. When I accept your invitation to be somewhere at a particular time, I am virtually signing up to be a contestant on American Ninja Warrior. I know it will be tough. I know people will be judging me. I know there will be unexpected obstacles. But I believe it will be worth it - to spend time with you. I believe that I will emerge a successful contestant: a winner - or a better person for giving it my all! And that you will be at the finish line (before me) cheering me on!
|feels like this to me!|
|What feels like this to you . . .|