Two weeks ago I wrote about the “Coaching Train

At the end of the post I asked: When’s the last time you stopped your train?  For how long?  What does stopping look like for you?

Benjamin Brus, author of the upcoming book,  A Paperboy’s Guide to Greatness: How to Turn Defeat into Victory — which chronicles his challenging and empowering experience as a grown-up paperboy — sent in this great answer:

I went to the beach yesterday with my mom, who is visiting from Michigan, and my kids. I told my kids not to bother bringing their swimsuits because the water would be too cold. I figured we would walk along the boardwalk and the kids would play at the playground, but not in the water.

Of course, they wore their swimsuits anyway, and of course, they headed straight for the water. At one point, my two-year old got leveled by an unsuspecting wave and in a moment’s time was covered in sand and water.

My first reaction was to clean him up and get some dry clothes on him; between him and my other kids, all I could think about was the mess they would make in the car.

But when my two-year old jumped up and started playing in the sand, getting even dirtier, I was reminded what it was like just playing on the beach. I grew up spending much of my summers on Michigan’s “West Coast,” playing along the shores of Lake Michigan. I remembered when sand and water didn’t signify getting a car dirty, but rather fun, freedom, and youth.

At that point, my train was stopped, and I chose to enjoy watching my kids be kids, playing in the bone-chilling water and loving every minute of it, just as I used to.

I was grateful for that moment, because it taught me to create more of these moments, even when the house is messy or the car gets dirty. If anything, I think I’ll look back and wish for more of those moments instead of a cleaner car.

Please email me your “train stopping” story when you get a chance.