25 March, 2009

How We Define Success

The girls gathered around in their harnesses and helmets.  Each listened with ranging levels of excitement and anxiety.  Although most of the group had traversed a low, horizontal, rock wall in PE, only a few had experienced a vertical wall. 

“Who is ready to climb?”

My daughter succeeded in being the first out the door.  She loves to climb.  Not all the participants were as enthusiastic, but they all made their way to the beginner walls.

Three walls.  Eleven girls took turns climbing.  3 coaches encouraged each girl.

Eleven girls moved to the higher walls.  Eleven girls never gave up.  They moved up.  They climbed until they were ready to stop on that climb.  They moved to another wall or to another line.  They kept climbing.  They kept trying.  They kept succeeding. 

One girl nearly didn’t come.  Her mom was very concerned that the child would not climb.  That due to her inability to pull her weight up with her arms, she would either not try, not climb, or not have fun. 

But, the child came.  The child not only came to the party, but she excitedly hit the wall and did not give up.  She did not make it to the top, but she made it a little higher each time. 

The child beamed when she told me “I made it higher that time!” 

This is what teachers and parents love seeing – Perhaps this is one of those little moments that makes it all worth while.  The little steps; the little successes.  It is a wonderful feeling to see someone go beyond expectations (those of others or their own). 

Success is something that is measured differently by different people.  My daughter is goal oriented.  Success is achieving a goal for her.  For me, success is doing one’s best.  It is getting a bit higher up the wall each time.  Success is trying and moving forward – it is that feeling that comes when progress is made; when another step in the journey has been taken. 

I am so very proud of this child; but mostly, I am thrilled that she is proud of herself for all that she accomplished!


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