As a middle-aged adult, those junior high kids have a way of making it look easy. I honestly don’t remember having that kind of energy, but I know we all did.
Attending my teenager’s track meets, I find myself in awe of the high jumpers and the hurdlers. Observing them, in all their youth and vigor, I could see that it takes even a young athlete great effort to get up and over that bar and those hurdles. There is a rhythm in their approach, a method to the madness that the spectator marvels at. Tremendous coordination of body, mind, and spirit must synchronize to successfully clear those hurdles. Leaping into mid-air, up and over an obstacle you cannot see at the last moment requires forethought, guts, and faith that they will achieve their goal.
Watching each of them focus on the task at hand and seeing the power of their “take-offs,” the sound of their pounding feet on the track, and the grunts from overexertion, I see sensory proof of their efforts, victories, and momentary defeats. Life is very much like a track meet.
These are among the great lessons that teach us our lives are a series of hurdles and high jumps. Regardless of age, we are often reminded that we too have our own obstacles and fearful moments. It takes courage and faith to overcome them, or at least face them. We too will fall and get hurt many times in life, but we must get up and keep going, just like these kids.
Every time I have problems getting motivated, or even days when I realize I am having a pity party for myself, I think of those thundering flashes of feet on the track. Those kids are scared and vulnerable when they step on that track for all to see, but it’s the champion inside us that keeps us moving forward and over those hurdles.
© 2011 Julie Hall