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Monday, July 9, 2007

Inspiration Monday: Be Persistent

I am in constant awe of my children. For any of you who have interaction with children, you know what I mean. The ability children have to persist, despite who they irritate. The ability to tune out the "No's" and turn them into "Why's" in a split second. For the most part, children don't care who they tick off, wear down, or exhaust. What they are focusing on at the moment is, "What do I need to get ____?" So they practice, they refocus, or they change strategies so they can reach their carrot.

My 8 year old is on the town swim team this summer. It is the one sport she can do well. She's not into running around and sweating. So soccer, track, softball are all out. She can swim to her heart's content, work hard, and still feel cool. Gotta love it.

8 year old is not the fastest swimmer, but she is sure dedicated. I never have to wake her up or force her to get ready. After breakfast, we head over to the town's outdoor pool. She has a 20 minute swim class to work on her swim strokes, then she has an hour and a half swim practice. Later on in the afternoon, we'll head back into the pool so the kids can cool off, and 8 year old automatically heads over to the swimming lanes and starts her laps. Even if she sees her friends at the pool. She will always wave and play for a little while, but she ends up going back to her laps.

This is when I am in awe. See, I wasn't even into the sports thing at this age. I kept thinking the kids are too young to get into a competitive sport. But then after talking to some friends a couple years ago, they told me that it was important to get girls into sports early. It helps them with their confidence, their body image, and gives them a respect for fitness. Plus, it keeps them out of trouble as they get older. Hmmm. So I figured why not.

This past winter, I signed her up in the winter swim team. She was thrilled when she earned a bunch of ribbons for the heats she swam in. Most of the ribbons were just for showing up, but there were three she received for third place in the team swim relays.

The first swim meet of the summer season was last week. I saw 8 year old looking at her ribbons before her swim meet and just focusing. Before she left for the meet, she looked at me and told me she was going to win. I smiled and encouraged her, but I have to say, in the back of my mind, I was a bit nervous about this since she isn't the fastest. There are kids out there with long, lean swimmer's bodies. My child is not that. But she is persistent and determined. And I have learned to never underestimate these characteristics.

Which I am so glad of...you see, my daughter won her heat! She might not have been the fastest, but, she was focused, she practiced, and she saw herself winning. Now that's what I'm talking about.

Embrace your talents. Embrace your dreams. Focus. Visualize. And never, ever give up. The people who continue to follow their dreams, no matter what, are going to get there. So what are you waiting for? Go on. Be persistent.

10 comments:

Callipygia said...

Congratulate her for me- that is wonderful! It is ironic that the talk on your site is dedicated to finding good role models for girls...and it seems they are good role models for me!

eisha said...

That's inspiring. Great advice!

Steph said...

That IS wonderful! Big congrats.

I read an article not too long ago about how when you praise a child's efforts rather than telling them, "you're smart, you're a great runner etc" that they have better success. The children who hear that they are smart or whatever instead of hearing that it was a good effort become afraid of making mistakes and do less well. Interesting huh?

Robin Brande said...

HWM, your 8-year-old is such a star. I'm so impressed by her optimism and persistence! That girl will go far in life.

Steph, it's funny, but I was just talking about that article this morning with my husband. I don't know where I saw it--on someone's blog, I think (was it here?)--but it makes so much sense. Praising someone's efforts really does build confidence because we can all put in more effort, even if we may not be as naturally talented as others. It's something we can control.

Anyway, HWM, thanks for another great post. So inspiring!

Jules said...

Those are some good reasons to get girls into sports at an early age, which I hadn't thought about before. Thanks for the food for thought.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Robin: That article was on my blog! I posted it, I posted it, I--

oh, whoops, that's not the point, is it?:)

I've duly noted the "What's in it for me?" mentality with the young ones, and while I try not to exploit it too much, I do tend to use it to get my sweet daughter (who's sometimes a beastie-girl) to the next thing.

Little Willow said...

Yay and congrats! Hurrah for persistence, dedication, and determination.

Robin Brande said...

Alkelda, you go ahead and do the I-get-credit dance. No shame there. It was a cool article, and I'm glad you posted it!

Liz in Ink said...

This just makes me wanna get off my butt and stick to something, Vivian. Sooo inspiring. And dedicated. And determined. And pure. And rewarding.

roz said...

What a fabulous post and congratulate your daughter for me.
Way to go!
I'm fairly new to your blog and just wanted to say hello.

~roz