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30 May, 2008

Persistent as a mule

Persistence is a quality that is underestimated in today's world. Some may even call it being stubborn but when it comes to overcoming one's challenges, prejudices, anger, grief, fears stubbornness isn't such a bad thing. Committing to a challenge and following it through takes persistence, it takes stubbornness. Change does not happen overnight and it certainly doesn't happen without the ability to stay focused and motivated on the task at hand. Even falling several times at a task is fine as long as you keep at it, as no-one is perfect at everything first time around. By telling yourself that you will fail, that you will give up, is simply an easy way out. Its a way of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and its a much shorter road to failure than it is to success.

I guess when I think of persistence I remember when I was 15 years old. I loved playing frisbee. I would stand out in my street tossing a frisbee back and forth with my friend Toby for hours. Literally hours. In the sun, or in the snow. We would chat about school, about "old times", about girls, movies and good old fashioned WWF wrestling. But having that frisbee to throw around gave us a perfectly good excuse to talk about all those things on our minds. Trying to learn experience from each other.
There was a frisbee club at my school. I had failed miserably at soccer, rugby, cricket and basketball but I was pretty good at frisbee and a friend of mine invited me to come play for them. Nervous and kinda excited I went along to the first practice of the season. I sort of knew the rules of the game and was confident with my throw. Then the coach told us "newbies" there was another throw, the forehand throw and that we had to learn it and that it was not easy.
He was right about that. I tried and I tried to get that forehand right. I threw it in practise, I threw it in the street, I tossed that frisbee around my room, trying to get my grip right, trying to figure out the physics of it. Six months later it finally felt right. It sure didn't fly straight, but it felt good, it felt like the proper throw. I played for my high school team for the next 3 years, we introduced the sport to the Physical Education curriculum and I had the chance to teach plenty of other kids that forehand throw. I went on to play for my university for 3 years and was invited to train with Great Britain junior team. I knew that without my persistence I never would have made it that far.

So be persistent this week and see what you can achieve.

6 comments:

The Film Geek said...

Man, that's a terrific post! :)

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Some people see persistence as a negative, but not me. Sounds like yours has paid off!

All Click said...

Thanks, FG.

ETW: Yer it's often given a negative tag but it doesn't have to be that way :-) Especially when it's a worthwhile goal.

RedZeppelin said...

Very good post.

Maybe if I'm persistent this week I can finally play "Old MacDonald" on the guitar properly. :)

rebecca said...

That is an awesome post! And yes, persistence is key!!!

Have you ever played Ultimate Frisbee? A lot of my students are really into it. It sounds like fun!

All Click said...

Oops! I should have said that in the post, yes it was Ultimate Frisbee that I played. It's a lot of fun but it's incredibly physical as well :-)