Someone to lean on…
What could you do if you knew, absolutely knew, there would be someone there to catch you?
We have elevated the idea of the individual to a level of sanctity in America. Don’t get me wrong. I am utterly impressed with Kayla Montgomery’s achievement, with her will to fight to do what she wants and needs to do for herself. But if there is no one there to catch her at the end of her races (and her training runs – the part the story above leaves out), none of it is possible.
I will share this from my own life – I have accomplished more, done more things I am proud of, in the past ten years than I even came close to in the previous thirty-eight. In that earlier era of my life there were people there to catch me when I fell (and they did), but I didn’t believe in them. I didn’t trust them to be there. I didn’t know they would catch me, so anything I did was tentative and laced with apprehension and sometimes outright fear.
Some of that was me. I wasn’t as reliable or able and willing to extend my arms to catch others when they fell as I am now. So I projected that expectation out onto others. And some of it was, frankly, that I really could not rely on anyone to be there.
I’ve used this Jim Rohn quote before – Nothing changes until you change yourself. I definitely needed to become more available to those around me. I needed to be more willing and strong enough, mentally, physically and emotionally, to be able to catch those around me when needed. But credit where it’s due – my wife, Karen, is always there. From the very first few times we talked she was there, ready, willing and able to catch me, or at least pick me up and dust me off. My life today is largely the result of what she made possible for me.
People fear failure. Sometimes we fear it so greatly that we avoid trying. We rationalize that it’s better to not do something than to fail at it. But failure is inevitable. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you push the pendulum forward it has to swing back. The more you do, the more you will fail. The only way to avoid falling at all is to never get up.
Kayla Montgomery knows that she will fall at the end of every race. And yet for four years she ran, and ran, and ran, until she was one of the best, because she knew her coach would be there at the finish line ready to catch her, to scoop her up into his arms and care for her until she could get up and walk again.
What could you do if you were certain there was someone there to catch you?