Become a Fan
Let It Go
By Michelle M Markee-Blunk
Sunday, May 18, 2003
My analogy of life's obstacles and acceptance.
I sat on the bench alongside my teammates. The excitement of the approaching challenge stirred within me. Finally, another race will begin. Not that it's the first I have ever ran in. And knowing surely it is not the last. But as always, the adrenalin builds, the committment is real and determination fills my soul.
I will win this one - nothing is going to stop me. Even my family and friends are up in the stands watching, as they have done so many times before. They smile and wave.Their tickets were purchased in advance for this long awaited game. Everyone depends on me. I will not let them down. I am full of excitement because I am thinking that the outcome is my destiny.
I remember the many years of training. The blood, sweat and tears. The sacrifices one so willingly gives in order to achieve. The fun and fullfillment that many times surrounded me. I realized that when I was an amateur in the very beginning of my plight, I was often given positions from my many coaches, that may have held me back from my goals. This, I am sure was my growth.
Other teams that I played against were as fearful as I was. Then, control was the only reward in every new game. Pride was the inevitable existance that kept me from quitting the team. In each race I built up my stamina, gaining eventually, an offer to join the Upper League. A dream we all strived for. The reason for building self and succeeding with dignity. Even though I didn't win every race, I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed". Many perceived the honesty and self-control I displayed. And saw sincerity and success in my actions. I was a winner!
My name was called and I got up from the bench. The applause and love of my fans overwhelmed me and I proceeded to the starting line.This was it. I concentrated fearlessly.
In previous races I always looked back at the moment of the start, to remember how I managed to make it to the finish line and whether it was a short run or a long stretch. The possitioning of my feet to grip the track below me was the grounding of my take-off. My posture, steadfast and upright, gave those who watched me assurance. Everyone could see the pounding of my heart. Eyes all upon me projected warmth and jow as the race began. My take-off felt secure; my stance at an even pace. My breathing was somewhat hesitant as I flew over the hurdles that started to show up in my path.
I didn't always make first place, usually because of a lack of practice time, or because I pushed aside the guidelines stamped in my mind. Sometimes second place was achieved as I passed my opponent in the fight to the finish. Only looking ahead to see the winner was one step ahead of me. I have more than once disappointed my teammates for stragling behind or getting caught up in the middle. If only I had realized that I honestly was doing the best that I could. In fact, those races were often the most rewarding. Encouragement was my strength to run the next one confidently.
Suddenly my breathing had quickened and perserverence beaded on my forehead. I cleared another hurdle. Those stationary structures seemed seemed to close in on me and a dull roar rang in my ears from the watching and waiting eyes that surrounded me.
There was only one more hurdle to clear...no, there were two or three. My mind stopped and my knees hit the firm ground that I depended on. In a split second I felt defeated and rejected. My skin burned on contact and pain was my only friend. At first my choices seemed non-existant. I felt as though everything froze around me. My hope was gone and my heart stood still. All I could feel was pain. I cried out and noone heard me.
I could take my time, stand up slowly and continue to stride toward the finish line. Even though blood dripped from my skinned pride. I know in my heart I would have been picked up off my feet by love. Why would have I mourned those that felt sorry for me? I knew I could count on those who really cared, to comfort me because of my defeat. Yet others would mock me for my foolishness and inability to be aware, as they felt I should be.
When I fell, I lost the ability to control. And then I realized that is not what was keeping me from the finish line. I thought control was my reward, when it was never mine to have.
Self-esteem was not the issue of winning first or of being satisfied with placing second. I lost my footing and in response used my controling guidelines and the tools of that fast paced inner-self.
In that instant, I heard voices calling out, "Is that the best you could do?" And for the first time in my life, I knew the answer was, "Yes". I have done the best I could do.
I was on my feet within seconds of falling and the last hurdle was behind me. The pain still existed, but not because I didn't make first or second place. I did the best I could do. In every race that I ran, I have succeeded.
I submitted honestly, picking myself up off the track, and again reached the finish line.
I listened when I thought I needed to control.
And I was told, "Let It Go".
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