Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world
Question #3 Rite of Passage Two -Acquisition-
- Have you tried as hard as you knew how and still failed, even to the point of being punished unjustly? Later on did you back off rather than lose the “race”?
I was nine years old and tall for my age. The prep school I attended was bulging with boys younger than I so I was booted up into the senior school, way before my time.
Academically I was seriously behind and I tried hard to catch up with my eleven year old classmates. I did not do well and frustrated teachers would order me out to sports practice in which I had some talent.
My fellow students were not amused by my efforts to please the masters and accused me of “sucking up to the teacher” which was, in their eyes, a dreadful crime.
I was arraigned before a “court of my peers” and sentenced to be ‘beaten with a plank’ … a ceremonial chunk of timber kept for the purpose in an old locker.
Their disapproval hurt far worse than the instrument. I was sandwiched between two sets of observers; both of whom found me a failure…and for understandable reasons.
My sole recourse was to try, less obviously, not to fail…always aware that I quite possibly would continue to do so.
The real crunch came on the athletic field where I had been able to succeed as the fastest boy in my age group (all older than me!)
In the finals of the 100 yards I ran alongside a new boy who was really fast. At the 50 yard point it became clear to me that my early lead was coming to an end. I could hear him just over my shoulder.
I couldn’t lose here too…then I’d have NOTHING!
I put one foot before the next and tripped myself -hitting the track with a wallop! I had failed but others saw it as a simple accident.
When you read my story almost all the way through you will see a faint copy of this ‘throwing-of-the-race’ where I would choose to retire rather than compete…and possibly fail?
AN ANSWER FOR TODAY?
I’ve come to understand that failing really isn’t so bad. It’s much better than throwing the race. I’ve learned so much by failing and doing so quite frequently it seems! I’ve learned how good it is to really try to engage some seemingly impossible task and get creative joy in the attempt.
Fear of failure used to rob me of that joy. I’m so glad it’s gone and along with it the false pride that’s been replaced by honest purpose.
By trying to regain resilience for us all I may be seen as failing but in my heart there is such wonder in the shared attempt.
Don’t be afraid to fail…go for it…it’s such fun to keep running!
Upstreaming on purpose…