Saturday, August 27, 2016

Work hard, aim high, fall, and keep going

I was told that this young woman in a sparkly dress is a top-level athlete at a local ice skating rink.  She came out on the ice with powerful confidence of someone who’s done that a hundred times. Indeed, she was very good - graceful glides, balanced turns, fast spins. Then she jumped. And fell. Got up and kept skating, and then jumped again. And fell again.

Those were complicated, high above the ice, many-turns jumps, and she did manage to land nicely a few of them. Still, she fell four times in a two-minute skating routine, all the way down on the ice. And each time she got up, picked up the beat in the music, and continued skating the program. More than that, she continued to attempt those high complicated jumps over and over again, never mind the falls.

The crowd was watching from the bleachers in awe. Down on the ice, this young woman was living through these, most likely unremarkable, minutes of her life – work hard, aim high, fall, and keep going at it. Throughout the evening, the skater kept attempting more jumps, sometimes landed nicely, but quite often continued to fall. She was the best, and that was exactly how she got to be the best, by pushing through the failure, the pain, the embarrassment, no matter the falls, jump after jump.