My wife & I watched our daughter compete yesterday at the state gymnastics meet. She had fun. She laughed, smiled. Not only did she compete she placed 1st on the beam, 2nd on the vault, 6th on the bars, 7th on the floor and 3rd all around. Out of all the gymnasts in her division in the state, she placed 3rd!! Not bad for just her second year of competitive gymnastics. What makes it more impressive is the journey she took to get there.
At last year’s state meet, she left in tears at her performance. I vividly remember her coach telling her “It was okay. You did well this year. These girls were older and you held your own. You’re going to work hard and next year you’re going to come back and kill it at state. Why? Because you’re a beast.”
Well over the course of the year, I watched this ten-year old cry, fall endless times off the beam. (sometimes she got up immediately, other times she lay there a for a moment). I’ve watched her battle fear and self-doubt. Not just any kind of fear but the kind of fear that paralyzes you and doesn’t allow you to move forward. Each time I’d ask her the same question. “Do you want to quit?” Each time,with tears in her eyes, she responded “No.” Some times she responded quickly. Other times she had to think about it briefly.
I watched her decide to face her fears, take action, and finally overcome her fears. I watched her do back flip after back flip until she was able to do it herself.
She frequently met disappointment and frustration with an attitude of relentlessness.
So to see her standing on the podium yesterday brought unbelievable pride. Not because she placed so highly. More so because she learned that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She’s stronger than she knew was. She learned that fear isn’t real. She learned that if you keep fighting and working hard, good things will come.
Your goal is probably not to be a gymnast. However I’m sure that you’ll experience some of the same things she did while you’re pursuing your own goals and dreams.(weight loss related or anything else) When the road gets a little tough (and it will) remember the 9-year-old who left the state meet in tears. Through hard work, dedication, and refusing to quit, she became the 10-year-old who left the state meet a champion smiling ear to ear.