Sunday, August 11, 2013

Plan To Land

I have mentioned several times this summer the efforts we have gone to to help Faith learn her aerial and get into the right class for gymnastics.  She has spent many, many, too many hours practicing gymnastics the last three months.  I say "she", but let's be honest, it was really "we".  I've had my little notebook and pencil in hand making endless tally marks of back hand-springs, one handed cartwheel and spotted aerials. 
I dare say I was bordering on being a fanatical parent.

But I think I learned a little something through our efforts that I want to remember.  She lands all of her aerials these days, but not too long ago she would land one occasionally, but fall down a lot.  And as you can imagine, the speed and power necessary to land a no-handed cartwheel is significant.  When she would fall she would fall pretty hard and her little body was taking a beating.  When I spotted her she did them very well, so she would try on her own, but regularly have a rough landing.

And instead of getting better, her landings seemed to get worse.  I was feeling frustrated, not understanding why sometimes she did it so well and then the next day her landings were atrocious again.  Like she'd never done this before in her life.

Then one day I noticed she was crash landing, but in a way that insured that even if she fell, she wouldn't get hurt.  She was planning to spare herself some pain in the landing.

The problem was that by planning to crash land painlessly, she could not possibly complete the aerial.  Her very efforts to avoid getting hurt were what was causing the failure in the first place.  So I began saying, "Faith,  plan to land!  Do it as if your 100% sure you are going to stick the landing."

And what do you know?
You know the rest.  She does them beautifully now.  But this got me thinking.  Are there some things in my life in which I plan to fall.  Do I do things in such a way that if I fall or fail I know I won't get hurt very much.  And by planning to fall without pain, it causes me to go about the project in a way that guarantees my failure.     
As opposed to going into an endeavor with the  belief that I am going to succeed.  By believing that, I will do things very differently and be more likely to "stick my landing".

Forgive me for trying to wax poetical , theoretical, philosophical, or whatever.  I know other great minds have said it more eloquently and succinctly, but this will be a life motto of sorts for me-- Plan to land.  


Emily Sanders said...

Great thought. Thank you for sharing.

Gabrielle Kim said...

I love it! Why do we always seem to expect things from our children that we don't expect from ourselves? (Maybe it's just me) I will be putting "plan to land" into action for myself!

Audre said...

I am Tiffany Fox's step sister and I love following your blog. I love this thought, that as we go through life that sometimes we do plan to fall instead of planning to land. Thank you