Keep cartwheeling

I really love it when people do things that others think won’t ever happen.

Like cartwheels.

I was at the park the other day, and there was a group of young girls running around, laughing, and showing off their cartwheel abilities. There was one girl in the group, however, who lacked the skills of the others. In fact, I don’t think you could really classify what she was doing as cartwheels. As someone who was asked to leave the gymnastics world when her instructor saw zero potential in her, I felt for her. It’s tough to be around perfect cartwheelers when you don’t know the meaning of “keep your legs straight.”

heisman
Go for the Heisman

It made me sad, though, when I saw her go sit down by her mom and put her head down, while the rest of the girls continued to play. I know she might not be Olympics-bound anytime soon, but I didn’t want her to give up so fast. I knew if she kept trying that she would nail that perfect cartwheel.

I’ll be honest: I’m a dreamer. Sure, sometimes I get my hopes up only to have them shattered, but I like to believe in seemingly impossible things happening. I once spent an entire evening trying to jump high enough to reach a dollar that my brother had taped somewhere that he thought was out of my jumping range. Obviously I didn’t care about the monetary value–it became all about proving him wrong and achieving my goal. Guess who was richer by the end of the night? I framed that dollar.

I love stories of people overcoming odds and surpassing expectations. It’s a reminder that it’s always important to keep hope alive. I don’t like the Boston Red Sox at all, but how can anyone overlook the team’s comeback against the Yankees after being down three games in the ALCS in 2004? Or Kerri Strug (I’m on a gymnastics roll right now) vaulting on one foot to lead her team to an Olympic championship in 1996? Obviously sports have many examples of people accomplishing what many others could only dream, but I think life is and always can be full of moments like these.

I don’t think it’s impossible for someone to drop bad habits and have a complete lifestyle change; I don’t think it’s impossible for someone diagnosed with stage 4 cancer to be declared entirely cancer-free later (I’ve seen it happen more than once); I don’t think it’s impossible for a student with severe learning disabilities to graduate with honors and make the dean’s list in college; I don’t think it’s impossible that places and people full of hate will someday be filled with nothing but love; I don’t think it’s impossible for the kid who strikes out every single time he’s up to bat to come through and hit that walk-off home run in the championship game; I don’t think it’s impossible that the Cowboys will be good again one day; I don’t think it’s impossible that I will get my dramatic moment where I’m wearing a pretty dress and screaming “I love you” to a guy while the rain is pouring down (I don’t even really like getting my hair wet, but it adds to the scene, obviously).

I believed Kevin Garnett when he yelled emphatically as the confetti poured from the ceilings: “Anything is possible!”

I used to see a lot of Adidas ads with the slogan “Impossible is nothing,” and I really liked those. I mean, it’s true. Impossible is nothing but a word and a mindset I don’t want to have. Will everything I dream or hope to happen actually happen? No, probably not. In fact, I’ve had a lot of things not happen that I really thought would. (I’m still holding out hope for my gazebo, though). But I’m still going to believe all things are possible.

After all, even Jesus said that “with God everything is possible.” (Read Matthew 19:16-30 if you want the scoop on that.) If He said it, I’m certainly going to continue to believe it.

I wish more people would believe more things were possible. I wish they would keep hope alive and not become so disheartened at the first sign of potential failure or bad news.

And I really wish that little girl would continue her quest for the perfect cartwheel.

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