Friday, August 14, 2009

ready or not, here she comes

She hurtles down the run-way full speed ahead and jumps onto the spring loaded board, exploding upward with a force that belies her size or age, and lands that force directly upon her arms, which then propel her into the air and over the top of the vault. I cringe internally, then breathe a sigh of relief as she sticks her landing, the arm having carried her there. The arm is healed—but my heart is not. I have a feeling this is going to be a long, long three hours.

Bub is back in the gym after her four month arm ordeal, and she is back with a vengeance. Having broken the arm a mere three days before team tryouts, her coach informed me, once released by her doctor to return, that she'd been invited to join the team based on her coaches recommendations and her scores from the past year. Lots of prayer and a huge financial leap of faith later, my daughter is now a competitive gymnast.

Today is practice number three, but the first I've been able to attend. I am, as is usual, surprised by my daughter's strength and ability. Other than not being able to execute the round-off double back handspring yet, she looks pretty darn good. She's got some work to do, but, quite frankly, no more than some of the girls who have been continuing to work for the past four months.

There is some fear that will have to be overcome, but her first week back has already re-bolstered some of her confidence. This is essential—for us both. Her team manual reads, "While winning is not so important, trying to win represents everything we strive for. Trying to win means coming to practice every day, working hard, overcoming fear, getting up every time you fall down, setting and achieving goals, and getting up on a 4" beam to perform skills difficult to do well on the floor. We do not try to win in the abstract. We try to win in the real world where rules apply, comparisons are made, judgment calls are the norm, grace under pressure is expected, and where falling and failing are part of everyday life."

She must be ready. To fall. To fail. To get up. To go back.

And I must be ready, too. To catch. To comfort. To trust. To let go.

As for which of us will have the harder time, I cannot yet tell you…


Lisa Biggs Crum said...

I loved that quote when I read it in the handbook. Meant to send the coach an email to let him know how much I liked it.

This is the first time on team for Heather. She's on the Red Team and loving it.

krista said...

Yikes yikes yikes!!!! Can't imagine how flippy your stomach was watching her on THE arm... and on THE team. Double whammy.
whew!!!! Where IS this stuff in the manual???

Kaleidoscope said...

The real world - a place where falling and failing are a part of everyday life. I wish someone had told me long ago that my job was not so much to protect my children from the falling and failing as it was to teach them "to get up and go back," like you say, Lorie. And I needed to learn (and teach) how to offer more "grace under pressure." I can still learn these lessons. Holy Spirit, teacher supreme, instruct me. Thank you, Lorie for giving voice to deep truths, once again. You're doing fine, Mom. You are readier than you know because your roots go deep into Jesus' love. Nancy G.

lorie said...

That's cool, Lisa! Bub was on Gray Team last year and loved it! I hope your girlie does, too!

Yes, Krista, VERY flippy, indeed!

If only I felt that ready, Nancy!