Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Olympics and Writing

Like much of the world, I've been catching some of the Olympics over the last week and marveling at the strength and dedication of the athletes. These people have spent years of their lives training and working and perfecting their skills. Injuries and set-backs happen, but the athletes persevere. They are there to win but what really impresses me are those who may not win but end up beating their own personal records. It's about growing and getting better.

Closer to home, I watch my oldest daughter, who is a highland dancer. She's been dancing since grade one and is now entering grade ten. Whenever we talk about extra-curricular activities at the beginning of a school year, she makes it clear that quiting highland dance is not an option. She will take it no matter what else has to go. Her skills grow every year and she has set a goal to test for and receive her teacher's certification when she is old enough. But highland dance is not easy for her. She has knee and ankle problems that often make the dancing painful and this week as she is preparing for competition, the pain has prevented dancing altogether. Yet despite the pain, she loves to dance. She loves beating her own personal best.

My own sport is writing. I know, I won't lose much weight that way. It's a mental sport. And just like any athlete who works hard to perfect their skills, I work hard to improve my writing. Today I received a rejection in the mail. As always, it set me back a little. But my coach (husband) pushes me on and won't let me quit. When I wonder if the time and expense invested are worth it, I remember the athletes who physically push themselves to the limit to be better. They have no guarantee of winning a medal and my daughter isn't guaranteed a medal at her competitions. Yet they all continue because they love what they do. Somehow it is part of who they are. Writing is the same for me.

As I read the words I labor over, I can see the improvement in them. I'm reaching and passing my own personal bests, and maybe someday I'll even get published. For me, that would be better than any medal. Until then, I continue training and competing in the writing world. There is no guarantee that I'll ever reach my goal but I'll never know unless I keep trying, and anyway, writing is part of who I am.


Kimberly said...

What a fabulous analogy!

Josi said...

Go for the Gold, Stephanie, and one thing that's different about writing vs. athletics, is that it's ALL about perserverance and pushing and pushing and pushing. Your genetic code has nothing to do with it. Most people give up which is how they lose, those that keep moving forward win every time.

Anne Bradshaw said...

Stephanie--I just have to let you know about a GREAT new and safe LDS website for sisters only, called "Our Ladies Room" at

Lots of super ladies on there already, and plenty of groups and forums to join and discuss a ton of issues.

Hope to see you there!

ali said...

Yes, yes and YES! That is an awesome analogy Stephanie, thank you.

I totally agree and am right there training with you!

Good luck to your DD and her dance competition!

Don said...

I agree - great analogy. Sorry to hear about your rejection, but your attitude sounds like it's in the right place.

I hope I can take my rejections with this much class...

Hang in there. (As I know you will.)

Pink Ink said...

I'm sorry about the rejection. Your husband sounds like a gem. Yeah, writing is pretty gruelling, and some days we wonder why we do it. But like those Olympians, we are always going for our personal best. Good luck, and keep up the good work.

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