Saturday, February 6, 2010

Surviving The Fall (9/90)

 The thing about this writing challenge is that there are days that I hate everything I do. Days that I want to hide and pretend that I don’t have aspirations that would make those reading chuckle. And yet I’ve committed myself to these 3 months of writing and posting because something in me whispers “I can” even amidst the screams of “I can’t.” And because I’m hoping that somewhere along the way the screams of “I can’t” will be silenced by the whispers of “I can.”

I am not confident in this. Especially not on the days when I don’t have anything to say, or a clever way in which to say my nothing. On days that I don’t have a story to tell, only these random musings.

If I wasn’t committed to this challenge, this is one of the days that I wouldn’t publish.

On days like today I need to remember the days that I was good at the things that I loved doing. Days when I was confident and fearless.

I was good at tumbling. I started at 3- years- old. It came naturally for me. That’s not to say that it was easy or that I didn’t work hard, only to say that I tended to pick up my skills more quickly than others.

I remember distinctly one day at cheerleading practice, in the summer when we’d practice twice a day, that my coach was pushing me to get my standing back tuck for an upcoming competition. I was close, but I didn’t quite have it yet, which for me was maddening.

But, I was possessed by a dogged determination and I just started throwing it over and over again in between our routines, which were exhausting on their own.

I stood at the front of the blue mat, and threw tuck after tuck, each time Ianding on my knees. Everyone in the gym was watching, some were talking. My coach kept her eyes on me, but she was silent.

The thing about tumbling is that you need to have an understanding of what you’re doing without thinking too much about it. If you think too much, you can’t do it. If you analyze the mechanics for long enough you’ll realize that what you’re doing maybe isn’t the best idea, and that the odds of you breaking your neck are stacked against you. So, the best thing to do is to understand by feeling.

I wasn’t jumping high enough and I was throwing my head back instead of keeping my head up and eyes fixed which is why I continually landed on my knees. I knew these things because I felt them.  

After two and a half years of coaching I finally understood why my coach was silent through my frustration. At that point, there was nothing she could say that would help me.

I had to know that I could survive the fall before I started jumping higher and keeping my head up. I had to learn by falling.  After I knew these things, I did them. It took several more falls, and it didn’t happen that day, but eventually I started landing on my feet, consistently.

I dubbed this 90-day challenge a warm-up for what is to come. This is practice so to speak, and there are people watching as I am falling. But I am possessed by this dogged determination to keep writing.

I am not confident in the writing, but I am confident that somewhere along the way I’ll learn that I can survive the fall, at which point, I’ll start jumping higher and keeping my head up.

And certainly there will be several more falls. But I’ve also got to believe that maybe, eventually, I’ll land on my feet. 


Brad King said...

I find it ironic how wordy you are on days you have nothing to say. It's almost like you do have something to say. Hm.

Tiffany Holbert said...

hmm. that is ironic ;)

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