Posts tagged perseverance

Quitting Is NOT An Option! an Olympic moment

17. At Olympics - Large Group copy

The 16 members of our U.S. Olympic Taekwondo team rounded the corner of the third mile running at a good even pace.  We were lined up two by two, keeping pace with each other in uniform rhythm…except for me.  Little by little I had dropped back in line, until I took up the last position at the rear, and was still loosing ground.  My heart was racing and I could not get enough air into my lungs.  My legs felt like lead, and I was light headed from the effort and lack of oxygen.  

Panicking, I slowed my pace even more, watching in dismay as the gap between my team and I grew further apart.  The farther the distance grew, the more my resolution weakened, until finally, I decided it just was not worth it!  In my mind I heard the voice of my mother, “You are not good enough, and you never will be!”  Giving up, I came to a stop, feeling that familiar disappointment of defeat.   Dropping my head in chagrin, I stood there with my head bowed, my hands on my knees, struggling to breathe.  

Feeling a vibration and pulse of movement, I looked up and discovered that my entire team had circled back towards me.  Coming up behind me, the two lead runners caught my arms and pulled me with them back into line without breaking the pace.  Forced to jog alongside, I willed my feet to move forward.  The entire team started a military chant to help us keep pace; and falling into this rhythm helped to distract me from my agony. 

I forgot about my misery and weaknesses.  I blocked out the memory of my mothers voice.  I focused only on the chanting words, my breath, and the next running step forward.  At certain intervals within the chant, our team leader would yell out, “Hee…Woman!”  And then the entire team would clap three times in unison.  Each time, a sense elation at this show of support surged through my mind and body.

Before I knew it, we had finished the five mile run.  I had made it!  It was not pretty.  Yet with the help of my teammates, I had done what was necessary.  As I made my way wearily back to the locker room, mopping my wet face with a towel, I realized how much is possible if I can just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Sure, maybe I was not as good of a runner as my teammates were; maybe I did not have their endurance or strength of will…but I WAS learning. 

I was learning that my mind could be my worst enemy or it could be my best friend. Success or failure is all a matter of focusing on why you can…or why you can’t.  As I entered the locker room, I realized that quitting is a choice, and the choice is mine to make!  As I collapsed onto a bench inside, I realized that if I wanted to become an Olympic champion, ‘quitting’ was NOT an option.

Now, at the age of fifty two I find this lesson to be extremely helpful as I face a new and daunting challenge in my life.  Many times it seems that for every step forward I take, there is one that sets me back.  There are moments when I get frustrated and just want to quit!  Yet each time, I force my self to keep stepping forward while my team’s voice echoes in my ears, “Hee…Woman!”  

20. Gold Medal copy

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A Quote From A Real Life Champion!

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 “In life, and in my line of work as a Stuntwoman, Olympic athlete, and Motivational Speaker, change is the only constant.  Necessity is my mother of invention because she causes me to create and adapt.  Perseverance is my rock solid companion that always gets me home safely; and passion is the life-blood that drives me beyond the ordinary.”

 dana hee

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"The Fly In The Kitchen Window" When the going gets tough, the tough get going!


They say that the definition of insanity…is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results. Hmm… Perhaps…I AM a little bit insane, because I am very GOOD at doing the same thing over and over again. I was born in the Chinese year of the Ox. Go figure!

Then again…I do believe insanity runs in our Louisiana family line…I’ve heard of my great grandfather’s irrational temper and ugly nature…I’ve witnessed my brother’s often, un-realistic approach to getting what he wants in life…I’ve been the target of my mother’s narcissistic nature of, “I love you…I hate you…I love you!”….and of course, I acknowledge my own bull-dog nature of not wanting to let go of something once I’ve latched onto it.

How DO we know when good ‘ol perseverance has turned into stupidity? As I sit pondering this thought while sipping my morning coffee…I silently contemplate the nasty black fly throwing itself at the kitchen window over and over again in its’ desperate attempt to escape to the flowers and trees outside. Feeling a twinge of embarrassment, as I am reminded of the hundreds of times when I performed the same mindless ritual…I grab up the fly swatter and SMACK! One less thoughtless moron in the world!

As I head to the counter top to get a paper towel to clean up the evidence of destruction, a couple of thoughts leap into my head… “What WAS I thinking all those years?” “Especially when the KISS theory (keep it simple, stupid!) is easily the best way to keep perseverance from turning into stupidity.” Of course…it took ME about 40 years to finally learn that! “MORAN!” I exclaim to myself as I wipe the window clean once again

Perhaps it’s because I’m a woman that I constantly want to complicate things. It’s not good enough for me to know that I need to put water in the horse tank. I need to know how much water was in there yesterday, and if it was close to being empty…why did my boyfriend not notice this and fill it up when he fed the horses last night. And just why IS the hose lying out across the lawn in the hot sun…baking itself to a shorter life-span? And surely…there must be an easier way to get the hay droppings out of the surface of the water…I mean…why can’t horses drink without slobbering and dropping their feed all over the place!!!

Ahhh….there are times I would give much to have the mind of a man. They don’t stop and ponder all of these issues. They either see the tank is empty and fill it up…or they never notice it at all! How simple! And much less stressful than what goes on in MY mind.

No wonder some men are absolute masters at the kiss. That’s their secret to blocking out our multitude of thought waves and getting us women to stop thinking for a few minutes. Fortunately…I finally learned to use the KISS to my advantage also. Not that I can do it all the time…but when I can, dang, it sure beats banging my head against the kitchen window!

KISS…aka… “Keep it simple, stupid!”…Has been my censoring device for several years now. When I begin to realize that I’m not making the progress that I should be making, I now take a step back and take another look at what I’m doing. Is there an easier way? Is there a more effective way? Do I need to do EVERY LITTLE THING I’m doing RIGHT NOW?

“Hmm…perhaps, I can break the problem down to it’s simplest form…and build up from there. Kind of like…if I need water in the horse tank…just go get the hose and turn the water on…instead of spending needless wasted energy fuming and analyzing things that are not pertinent to the immediate problem!”

Of course…since I absolutely seem to LOVE fuming and analyzing needless things and I’ve spent the majority of my life doing just that…I’ve really had to work hard at re-wiring my brain to force myself to KISS instead of shit bricks. Ahh…welcome to my world of the ‘ox!’

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