Friday, January 4, 2013

It. Is. Possible.



I never did get around to sharing my word last year...it was explore.
The year before...was discovery.

That year of discovery, of self, is what propelled me into exploring.
No I didn't go on any safari, or around the world trip, or climb Mt. Everest.
But I explored....I simply explored what was around me, what came before me, the
things that interested me. I wanted to be fearless in my exploring or at least attempt
the fearlessness of it. To not be afraid to do that which expressed the passion in my heart
whether it was photography, or not.

I wanted to be fearless not because of the destination in the exploring, but simply because of the journey.

I'm not sure how fearless I was, and I'm not sure I'm ready to let go of that word just yet.
But I did wade through 20 feet of seaweed to find a frog fish among who knows what else, and came
face to face (well almost) to a water moccasin, and stared down a stingray two feet in front of me.
I have pictures of all three.

This all leads me to my word this year....

I already had a good idea of what my word for this year would be, and I knew for sure
after we took my son to a camp last week.

We left the day after Christmas, bright and early, for Brownswood Texas in route for a pole vault camp.
This vole vaulting idea, which he has never done before, came into play when my husband found out that
the school record is only 9 feet. And after some discussion and encouragement, my son decided he would like to give it a try.

We arrived at the camp, and after a short video and introduction we followed my son to the gym
as he walked holding a pole in his hand for the very first time.


Run...plant...takeoff. We all listened as the coach talked about these three important parts to a successful jump and well, they probably apply to most things in life. In this gym, Coach Don Hood, said these things..."How do you become great? You work your tail off and pay attention. The most important part is the beginning, because if the beginning is wrong then the end can't be right. You can't be aggressive unless you are confident and you can't be confident unless you have done it 1000 times. Greatness comes at a high price. If you want to be great at something, it means you can't do everything."

He would know, he is now 80 and has coached world and Olympic champions.



  Start, curl, press . . . and toe, flat, jump was drilled over and over, a thousand times. I had no idea that this was such a very precise event. I don't think he did either. In fact I learned the pole vault is the most technical of all athletic events and the biggest obstacle is your mind as it goes against everything that is natural.


Running in a full on sprint, with a very long pole (a controlled run while holding a pole I might add), slamming planting said pole into a box while being propelled over a bar. Yes, there is definitely some physics at work here with kinetic and gravitational potential energy. To the observer pole vaulting may seem fairly simple, it's anything but simple. 


As the first day progressed (over 10 hours), I wasn't seeing joy in his face. I could see his heart wasn't wholeheartedly into it. It was hard, it was technical, and there were no instantaneous results. They wouldn't even jump over a bar until the end of the next day. 

We have taught our kids to stick with what they start, but as a parent it was hard to see him just go through the motions if he wasn't loving it. I wanted him to do it for himself, to want it for himself. If we had decided not to go back, we certainly wouldn't have been the first as they said a lot of them don't come back the next day. But we did go back, and I told my son that after that second day if it really wasn't his thing it was okay if he didn't want to continue it, at least he would've tried. But I did ask him a favor. I asked him since we were already there to make it the most important thing that day. To just see what would happen.

(Coach is in the background)

We took a lunch break. He was tired, his hands hurt and there was still some discussion about leaving early, but they still had not done the actual pole vaulting, the thing they were working so hard for. So back for more drills, and some more motivational coaching, and then it was time to put those new skills to the test. My son was unsure about clearing the pole, I was confident he would.

They set it up as a contest and there were about 8 or 9 of them, with my son being the only first time jumper.
They set the bar to 6 ft, and he cleared it with room to spare. It got progressively higher until they reached 8 ft. (photo below).



And do you see what I see, a smile, joy in his face as he cleared the 8 ft mark!!
(and he won the contest!)



The joy wasn't only in his face, but in my heart. Watching him try something new, something hard. It wouldn't have mattered to me if he didn't clear the pole, what mattered is that he didn't give up. What mattered is that he learned something. And I can say that after almost 20 hours in two days that I learned some things in the process too. Yes greatness comes at a high price and that's not only true of athletes, but in life in general. And as the coach reminded us all, if greatness was that easy we would all be great.

(Photo Friday is back! The theme was using our chosen word and represented in a photo)

I'm proud of my son for sticking with it even though he wasn't sure he enjoyed it. Sometimes when
we are learning hard things they aren't enjoyable. Watching my son reminded me that you don't know what you can do until you try and that you don't always see the results of your hard work right away. That it's sometimes not until that last hour, that last stretch when we see the fruits of our hard work, a glimpse of our own greatness and of our possibilities.

This year I don't just want to know about the possibilities, I want to believe them possible.

"What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely
a function of our true capacity. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are."
- Anthony Robbins 

Thank you for sticking to the end here,
Love, Kim
XO


Sharing with Photo Art Friday, Friday Photo Journal, One Word Blog Hop



42 comments:

helena said...

an inspiring story and a great word for 2013 with a fabulous image to match

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Loved your story Kim. I have never chosen a word in previous years but have been thinking on it over the last few days and believe it or not, the word which has come to mind as being right is "Possibilities" - applying to more than myself personally but a way of viewing life this year.

Katarina said...

I read your post with great interest. And I want to remember it all - very wisely put!

Birgitta said...

Inspiring story and great photos and work!

Miriam said...

This is such an inspiring story Kim, thank you for sharing it. Your word and piece to showcase it are beautiful. Good luck and Happy New Year.

Sherri B. said...

What a beautiful story...your son has impressed me, but then again, look who his mother is. (And I'm sure his Dad is amazing, too!) :)

I love your word...and your words both inspire me and encourage me. There are things I want to get better at and you've given me that reminder we all need to hear: the learning process isn't always fun.

Thank you for the pep talk, Kim - you've left me more determined! The photos of your son capture his experience perfectly - thanks for sharing. :)

Tamar SB said...

Wow! Good for him - that sport looks so precise and it is amazing that he was able to learn the skill in 2 days!! Have a fabulous weekend!

Stephanie said...

A great story - very well told. I found myself anxious to learn if he stuck with it. Good for him! This leasson learned will serve him well his whole life.

Kerri said...

An Awesome Word! and a Wonderful post!

kelly said...

wow, first of all congrats to your son on his accomplishment. great photos too - totally felt like i was there watching with you.

so much truth in your story!! best of luck with your word! can't wait to see what's in store for you. :)

TesoriTrovati said...

This is so beautifully, so effortlessly written, Miss Kim. I can feel the emotion, the sweat, the struggle. But I also sense the momentum, the accomplishment, the triumph. What a valuable life lesson that you and your son have learned. Thank you so much for sharing that! And you and I had the same word last year! I don't think that I explored all that I set out to do, but I did pick up some amazing experiences along the way that were not on the map and that is a big part of being an explorer. I am still struggling with the words I have in my heart for 2013 because I know that they are necessary and also a big challenge to me and not the most fun, but I can't seem to let them go. Enjoy the day. Erin

Kim C. said...

This is the best thing I've read in a long time! All of it 100% true. So much the glean and take out for myself in pursuit of goals, and passions. Thank you for sharing. You are a wonderful mom for teaching these life concepts to your son.

Gina @ Kleinworth & Co. said...

WOW- I'm so impressed. I have always marveled at one's ability to do things like this. Incredible. Good for him for sticking to it.

Marian Hertzog said...

Thank you for encouraging your son to stick with it. He learned a huge life lesson. Great story and it is "possible"!

tiarastantrums said...

what a lovely read this morning - I think I need to think about choosing a word for the year!

Ruth said...

Great post, I've wondered how they learn to polevault, now I know! It looks so difficult, he did so well! Great word for the year :)

Deanna said...

I loved reading this story and what a happy ending it had. I am sure your son gets his determination and his abilities to learn and conquer new things comes from you, dear Kim. Kudo to the win!!

momphotographer said...

what an inspiring story! I love your photo art at the end of this post! it says the entire story!

Karen said...

Beautifully written and the photos, themselves, could tell the story. What a wise coach! I admire you all for persevering. Will he continue with the sport?

Brenda said...

What a great story, a great lesson and a great intention for 2013. So very inspiring - both your son's accomplishment and the wisdom you drew from it and shared here so eloquently.

NatureFootstep said...

a great word full of hope. Nice work.

Melissa Bliss Rich said...

What a fantastic and wonderfully written story! This really was motivational and I thank you for sharing it KIm. What a wonderful lesson for him and I can only imagine how proud you felt at the end of those two days.

I have been thinking about a word. Words can be so powerful. I love that quote. I read something similar recently about how we don't become what we want, we become what we believe. So very true it is.

Thank you so much for linking up today! I'm thrilled you joined in and so grateful that you shared your powerful story :)

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Fantastic images.... Something years down the road you both will cherish. Your words are sooo profound. I love your word!!!! I might be stealing it. As usual you inspire me.

Cathy H. said...

What a lovely, inspiring story! Brought a few tears! Congrats to your son for sticking with it!

Jeanne said...

What an awesome post this is Kim! I loved every word of it , and loved seeing the joy in your son's face in his success... yes, and what an awesome lesson he learned here. One that many people have yet to learn. So your word (s) for the year is great, and I know, from watching you, that you will live this to the fullest this year!

Carol said...

Kim, this is such a beautiful and powerful post! Your son did so well, and you told the story with such empathy, that I was hooked right to the end. You are making me consider a word for the year, something I've never done before. But then, I've never read a story about pole vaulting before either and I loved that. Thank you for so much inspiration.

Bonnie said...

What an inspiring piece, Kim. Love the shot of the profiles of student and coach.

Your son is just beautiful ... and he has very wise and supportive parents. Lucky young man!

Kathryn said...

I love how you arrived at your chosen word for this year and for sharing that with us. If you find yourself wondering if something is 'possible' know that we'll be here to remind you that it is.

Lauren said...

Great photos... those lessons of stickwithitness will stay with him for a lifetime.

Linda R said...

Another wonderful post my friend. And I just Love how it lead you to your word for this year. What a great word it is.. My ex-husband was a pole vaulter. He would compete in the police and fire Olympics. I know when we split he was still at it. He LOVED it..
Best of luck to your son. I hope he stays with it.

Hugs~

June Caedmon said...

You're truly an inspiration, Kim! The quote from Robbins is right on. Looking forward to your year of possible!

Kelly said...

Kim, this is such an uplifting, heartfelt post. It gave me goose bumps and put a smile on my face. Good for your son and the height of that bar and the feeling of flying...wow. Love your word and I know you'll do it proud! xo

Ida said...

What a great word and the story behind it is just fabulous. Your son achieved something wonderful and you both have the right to be proud of that accomplishment.

Currie Silver said...

This is a wonderful and inspiring story, Kim. It was fun learning more about YOU through how YOU view this experience.

I am deeply encouraged by this, and by your son giving it to the end of the 2nd day. I, too, have some BIG [well, to me they are BIG] dreams in the year ahead, heck, even the day!!!

Knowing they are possible is sometimes all I need to know as I let an idea or dream marinate and reveal itself...

BEautimous photo, too, and all throughout...

Rosemary Aubut said...

So well said and documented Kim! So happy for your son and for you proud mama! Great photos! His face going over the pole priceless!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Hi Kim ~ I came over from Kat's class in Flickr. I loved reading your story and enjoying your lovely photos! Great word choice this year too.

Rosie Grey said...

What a great story, Kim! Thanks so much for sharing!

Lisa Gordon said...

Wonderful word, and beautiful post Kim!
I am always so in awe of how a pole vaulter gets up and over that bar. It looks like your son is off to a fantastic beginning!

vicki said...

Hi sweet Kim-
I have just loaded your blog in for my Grow Your Blog party per your request and comment on my June posting. Please refer to my blog for the latest updates and prepare your special posting for the 19th. See you at the party girlfriend!

xoxo,
Vicki

Christine E-E said...

your pictures TELL the story. I want to get to that point in my photography! instead of taking single pictures, I need to look for those other opportunities. Congrats to your son on completing his weekend intensive training. Does he think it will be something he might continue?

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