Monday, October 14, 2013

You Can Do It!!

I have taught gymnastics off and on ever since I was 16 years old.  I even had a gym in my home where I taught about 75 kids.  I hadn't taught my own children for a while, but Jordan and Mariah showed interest in gymnastics again over the weekend.

Mariah was doing backbends and Jordan was doing backhand springs- even little Jayden and Juliana rolled around in the grass.

Jackson and Tyson came outside wanting some lessons too.  Tyson did his backbend, and then Jackson tried...

Jackson never did have a knack for gymnastics.  His attempts are the same- but always funny.  For years now, I have tried to teach him the backbend; and for years, his arms propel around so fast before he drops to the ground that he looks like a strange, baby bird learning to fly.  All of us, Jackson included, can't help but laugh... but he really wanted to try again.

Last July I hurt my shoulder severely while playing football with the boys, so I didn't have a ton of extra strength and endurance in my shoulder to spot ALL the children on their backbends and backhand springs.

I decided to be completely honest with Jackson... In the past I had always told him to just keep trying.  This day... I said, "Jackson... it's ok that you can't do the backbend.  You have other talents.  Man- you play the drums!  Everybody is different."

Jackson looked at me and nodded.

I turned around to spot Jordan and heard muffled but excited noises from Jackson.  There he was- upside down in the backbend position- yelling:  "I did it!  I did it!!!"

While cheering for him, I questioned:  "What?  You did a backbend?  How?"

Boy did I feel horrible.  I spent years watching his dramatic and awkward interpretations of a backbend.  I figured it just wouldn't/ couldn't happen with his body.  I figured he was old enough to focus on the things he was really good at instead.

Thank goodness little Jackson took my words as a reason to prove me wrong instead of quitting.  I could have encouraged him with more confidence in his ability, and I'm sure the success would have been the same because he was ready to conquer that backbend!

I'm ashamed that I'm the one who told him he couldn't do something, and I never want to be that person again.  I told Jackson I was sorry for not believing in his ability to do it.  He said at his last race a parent told their child to pass him.  Instead of feeling sad or discouraged by those words, he ran even faster so the kid couldn't come anywhere close to him.  He believed in himself!

God is working in our lives on a constant basis.  Talents and life situations that may seem impossible, may just be on the verge of becoming a great success!!  I don't ever want to be the one on the sidelines of life saying it can't be done ever again!!  As I read my personal scriptures this morning, the message, "Yes you can," came very strong into my heart.

Well something amazing just happened... I was busy writing all the things we can do that might seem hard, and Mariah (having no idea what I was writing about) made up a song and sang it in the other room at the top of her lungs.   I wish you could hear it coming from her sweet, little voice, but here are the words:

"You can be a champion.

You can flip up in the air.  

You can jump off of cliffs on a rope.  

You can read with big people.  

You can dance on people's heads.

You can do anything in the world.

You can do flips that are better than counting to three.

You can be a champion."

Wow!!  What inspired words with just the perfect timing!  What a little champion!  I'm grateful to be taught by my 5-year old little girl and my 11- year old son!  Yes!!  I can, you can, and we can do anything in the world!