“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
When my daughter was in 6th grade, I was a fortunate to be picked to chaperone her, a handful of students, chosen to participate in a team-building and leadership academy located near Washington, DC.
Throughout the day, the children were placed in various groups and given mental and physical tasks to complete, having to rely solely on the abilities and instincts of one another. The final challenge was a 15 foot (4.6 m) smooth, vertical wall that they were assigned to scale in five minutes with only the aid of another student. Both children had to reach the top of the wall within that time frame. I watched, hopefully, while several groups tried a similar technique of boosting their partner to the top and afterwards attempting climb the un-notched wall to their waiting teammate’s outreached hands. Their efforts were fruitless.
My daughter was paired with her friend Emma, a girl she had known since babyhood. Neither of them were particularly athletic, or tall; just your average 11 year-olds. They began much the same as the other groups, with Emma’s feet on top of my daughter’s shoulders. When Emma grasped the top edge of the wall, my daughter grabbed her feet and helped to push her to the top. With her friend at the pinnacle, my daughter confidently walked about 20 feet away from the wall as Emma secured her legs on the top and reached out. Then, they locked eyes and my daughter began running. In a moment I’ll never forget, my daughter ran to the wall, scaled two-thirds of it in that same running motion, clasped Emma’s hands, and in one swift motion was pulled to the top, never breaking eye-contact with her friend. It was one of those millions of times when I wished that I’d been filming her. Their actions looked superhero-ish and miraculous. It was as if two little girls, for a few brief moments, had been blessed with superhuman powers.
After a myriad of high-fives and congratulations from classmates, my daughter finally reached me.
” That was amazing! How on Earth did you do it?” was my first response.
“I just knew I could. I saw myself at the top and ran,” she replied.
Fifteen years have passed since my daughter’s Matrix-like climb. She’s been through many changes and challenges since then. Life has continually and generously handed her its share of natural ups and downs. When things get tough, I never fail to remind her that she’s a wall climber from way back. I tell her that she has the amazing ability to focus and run swiftly past her doubts and fears. The pinnacle is always there for those who believe they can reach it. We all have a little bit of superhero in us–the trick is believing that it’s there!
******When in life have you amazed yourself? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Don’t forget to stay tuned for Friday Fixes, where I’ll be discussing some of the things I’ve learned about building self-confidence through my Lifestyle Education Classes!