After losing to Jimmy Connors in 16 consecutive matches and then doing the unthinkable by winning, Vitas Gerulaitis commented: “And let that be a lesson to you all. Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row!”
|Vitas finally beat McEnroe, but I don't think he ever got around to beating that guy in the middle (Bjorn)|
I also recently saw the photo below on Olympic ski-racer Lindsey Vonn's Instagram feed. Ignore the Redbull ad. It was her caption that I liked. "When you fall, get back up!!" I will spare myself (and you) the rewatching of her horrific ski-racing fall a few weeks ago by not posting the YouTube link, but what she did to her knee, and at the speeds it happened, are the things I imagine in my worst nightmares.
I'm going to make an effort to keep thoughts like these in my head all year. I am not always the most confident or fastest learner, and a frequent physical faller - while snowboarding, biking, walking my dogs or even just getting out of bed - thanks to general clumsiness, laziness, not paying attention or not even trying. But I can fall mentally just as easily, and the reasons are probably exactly the same. There's no reason to talk myself out of my ability to learn things (something I do maybe not all the time, but too many times).
|Vitas again, after falling in the bushes (it's not just me)|
A different yoga teacher said in class two nights ago that most of our obstacles are put in front of us BY us. She talked about the Hindu "Lord of Obstacles" called Ganesh. From Wikipedia, he is popularly worshipped as a remover of obstacles. My yoga teacher's point though was that we can remove our own obstacles. Or maybe it would be more efficient to not put them there in the first place. I'm writing this down, here, so I don't forget.
I am surrounded by people who do amazing things in spite of hurdles. Some are big hurdles, some are small. They're all hard. Some examples: My husband, who has never taken no for an answer or listened to a naysayer in his ENTIRE life. My mom, who just received a masters degree and turned 60 in the same year (it's not too late for me, eh?). My dad, who just took a scary leap into retirement - something that sounds easy, but I doubt is, in a lot of ways, after spending 38 years as a civil servant. My other mom, who somehow survived being the same house as me and my dad while I grew up, not to mention my little brother - none of us made that a walk in the park. And she still loves and supports us anyway! As freely and generously as one ever could. That has been one of my most important lessons in life. My little brother, who is planning his third trip to Europe with his band while slaving away at two jobs 7 days a week. My husband's littlest brother, who is raising a three-year-old girl as a single dad. My friend Wanda, who is learning to swim and training for her first triathalon at age 40. My friend Meaghan, who is about to have hip surgery - something that seems unfair to me for a strong, healthy athlete at her young age of 30, but will probably not stop her from doing another Ironman. Because why wouldn't she?
I won't list more family and friends, though I could go on and ON. I learn a lot from and am inspired by all y'all, even if you don't know it or I don't say it! It makes me a very lucky girl every single day, but I especially appreciate it today, the day after my 34th birthday :)