This past weekend, my daughter and I went to see the US Gymnastics Championships at the XL Center in Hartford. We saw the Junior and Senior Women’s competitions. The end result of the competition was the forming of the US National Gymnastics teams … this is where the next crop of Olympic competitors come from.
What both amazed and inspired me about watching this competition, aside from the stellar gymnastics, was the raw courage that these young women possess.
During the final competitions on Saturday, there were several of the junior women who struggled on bars and on beam… falling, sometimes hard, during their routines. Each time, they got up again and completed their routines. It brought tears to my eyes. At one point, after watching a talented gymnast fall (twice) from the high bar on the uneven bars and get up again to continue, I started to cry in earnest.
Afterward, I spent a lot of time thinking about those women. What an incredibly powerful lesson these young women teach us… about not succumbing to fear or discouragement, about getting up and going on even when you’ve fallen hard, flat on your face.
I think it’s an important lesson for all of us to learn, not only for ourselves, but for our children, our future. The lesson of courage, of persevering in the face of pain, fear or discouragement is something we all need to take to heart. Athletes are taught that lesson more fully than others… but I think it’s something we all need to learn. Giving up is easy, quitting is epidemic. If we want to make the world a better place, we need to start building our courage.