Friday, March 28, 2014

Failures and successes in advanced hopping

I almost didn't get into Kindergarten. Not for any academic reasons. But because I couldn't hop backwards on one foot. True story. I don't know what hopping had to do with anything. I was four years old, applying for Kindergarten, not the circus. Still, the test administrators were very concerned about my failures in advanced hopping. But my mom was like "No, she can read, she is going to Kindergarten." And so I did. Because my mom is awesome like that.

In first grade, the school had a jump rope contest in gym class. You had to do a bunch of complicated jump rope moves and if you could complete them all, you would win a Crunch bar. I practiced every day and I won that damn candy bar. I don't know if I felt like I had something to prove after the hopping incident. I don't know if I was even aware of that Kindergarten story until I was much older. I think I just really wanted that Crunch bar. It was delicious, by the way.

I don't know why, but I never paid much attention to naysayers. I don't think it was a conscious choice, but I was just sort of oblivious to the kind of people who tell others they can't do things. I think somehow I knew that, for me, the deciding force in success was not innate talent, but passion. I didn't have to be naturally "good" at things because it would be effort and persistence that made all the difference. If I loved something and I threw myself into it 100%, awesomeness would ensue.

I think about the Kindergarten hopping debacle when I run trails, when I'm jumping over logs and streams, dodging branches and climbing hills. Even when I fall, get back up and keep going. Look who's hopping now, I think. Not because I have anything to prove. But because it's an awesome feeling running through the woods, running over/under/through any obstacle in your path.

It doesn't matter what anyone else says, doing what you love is its own reward. That being said, there are plenty of people who will support you in all your crazy endeavors, who will be running and hopping along with you, telling you all the things you can do, hanging around campfires and sharing snacks afterwards, and taking pictures of your robot socks. And you will be loving every minute of it.

Lyric of the moment: "I take it in but don’t look down. ‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay I’m on top of the world, ‘ay. Waiting on this for a while now, paying my dues to the dirt. I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay. Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay. Take you with me if I can. Been dreaming of this since a child. I’m on top of the world..."

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