I have always enjoyed watching gymnastics. What has amazed me the most is not the skills the gymnasts do but the fact that if they fall they must pick themselves up, continue on with their routine, and finish the meet. There is no time for self pity or wallowing. They must move forward.
My youngest son is a gymnast and has just finished his seventh competition season. I am still amazed, even more so, by the poise and determination these athletes possess in those situations.
At J's final gymnastics meet of the season, his first event was vault. He had just warmed it up, and it looked really good. He felt really good about it. He was the first competitor on the event. He ran down the runway, did a roundoff onto the springboard, shot left, and missed the vault table. He stood up, saluted the judges, and walked off to the chairs.
We knew he was disappointed with his vault, but he doesn't let his feelings show during meets. He had five more events he needed to do yet. Throughout the remainder of the meet, he had two personal best scores. He did a new skill that he hadn't competed before. All of this after the vault.
What was our takeaway from the meet? Our son didn't quit. No matter what happened, he gave it his all. He stood up with confidence and continued the meet to the best of his ability. This is an awesome skill to have.
We are blessed to have two boys who possess this skill. The difference is that one chooses to be in an activity where this skill is helpful. The other one must possess this skill to get through his day to day life.
For S, life is not easy having Cerebral Palsy. He falls often, literally. Every time he falls, he picks himself up and continues on with what he was doing. He doesn't quit. Ever. Sometimes he gets hurt when he falls, but he still picks himself up and continues on. Every time. He doesn't quit. He doesn't want help getting back up. He wants to do it himself. Every time.
As a mom, there are times (okay many times) I am concerned about their future. I get it. It's a mom thing. At the end of the day, I don't need to be worried.
My sons are not quitters. Either of them. They will pick themselves up every time they fall. If one can't get up by himself, the other one can and will help.
I will be on the couch with chocolate appreciating the tenacity and perseverance that my boys have.