per-se-ver-ance

noun: 1. Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

synonyms: persistence – tenacity – pertinacity – assiduity

This post has been 3 years in the making for me as a coach and 5 years in the making for my dear Courtney. Courtney is a junior this year at Clovis East High school and I have had the privilege of coaching her since her freshman debut in 2011.  She is the one athlete I can always count on to bring an infectious smile to the track. Long and lean she specializes in high jump and has had a love for it since she was in elementary school. This past fall she made the decision to step away from volleyball and join me in the weightroom for some fall training.  You see, she has this amazing form as she arches over the bar, but she has been struggling to get past the height of 4’6″ for the past five years… she decided that this was the year that was going to change.

For months she has been putting in the work and preparation to get her over that 4’8″ barrier.  Two weeks ago her last meet of the season was approaching and she had yet to clear 4’8″.  Many times I have watched her come so close to clearing that “dreaded height” and I knew that it was only a matter of time before she succeeded; I just prayed that today was that day!  As she stepped up for her first attempt my heart raced.  And then just like that, in a blink of an eye, she was over.  I jumped, I screamed, all the hours of practice flashed across my mind, and my eyes filled with tears as she celebrated success. She didn’t give up. She pressed on. For five years. Below is an instagram post a couple hours after her clearance.

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What I like most about this post is the line “what I thought was a mental block that I couldn’t do was actually one easy attempt over“.  ONE EASY ATTEMPT OVER.  Fear of something can have such a grip on us that we forget what is truly possible.  So many times the things we are afraid of are actually just one easy attempt away from success.  Her 4′ 8″ clearance qualified her for our area championships, and the following week Courtney once again cleared 4′ 8″ (this time with a new confidence).  I wonder how many opportunities we are missing out on, and how many lives are missing out on being affected, because our fear is keeping us locked down. Don’t be discouraged by what hasn’t been, but be encouraged by what could be….

Courtney and her proudly displaying 4’8″

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