Yesterday, we celebrated a new year with King T. A few months back, our daughters and I planned to gift him with a day at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. This place is grand. You can go and do absolutely nothing and absolutely everything, and will have a memorable time.
One of our planned adventures was a twenty-foot-above-ground obstacle course. While waiting for our turn, we observed the small children and adults (including seniors) who ventured out before us. Although they all seemed to be getting through the course successfully, the concentrating eyes and clenched jaws were giving me pause. But, it can't be that bad. Right?
"Next person", said the attendant. I go up the steps, she connects me to the safety rope, and looks me in the eyes sternly. "Once you begin this course, you have to finish it." Only thing I could imagine at that moment was a steel door closing between me, her, my family and everyone else standing in line. Gulp.
Twenty feet above ground doesn't sound too bad -- when you're on the ground.
Our Shared Perspectives
Once the course was over, as a family we shared exactly how we felt about that adventure.
King T. - What have I've gotten myself into. It was great, man. Loved it.
Me- Ditto. But also, I took on each obstacle at a time. I did not think about the one ahead, and after each one, I stood on the platform feeling accomplished and determine to master the next.
Warrior Princess Z. - The first step was harder than I thought. I did not try to control the safety rope, because I knew it would come with me. I was able to plan my strategy and not think so much about falling to the ground, because I knew that I could rely on the safety rope.
Warrior Princess T. - Well.... we did not have to ask her about her perspective, because we heard it (everyone there heard it).
Her Fight Overpowers Her Flight
My young lady snot-nose cried on the fourth obstacle. Do I blame her? Not at all. She physically displayed what we ALL were feeling. Although she was hesitant from the first step, never once did she say, "I can't do this. I don't want to do this. I'm turning back." I heard her crying behind me, and although I empathized with her, I could not, would not default to the "mommy is here" mode. Why? Because I know my child. Her fight always wins out. And to be honest, she likes for me to just be there, not hover (I like that about my children). So, there she was crying, yet each time I looked up (Warrior Princess Z. and I were finished. Woo.) she was finished with one obstacle and on to the next. Her daddy was just heart-melting brilliant -- encouraging her. The couple behind her were encouraging and the fifty plus people waiting in line were cheering her on. They even clapped and congratulated her when she was finished. They understood. I was/am so proud of my girl. I did not hug her, I high-fived her and patted her on the shoulder and said, "You did good." She liked that.
As we walked and talked, I said, "I bet if we come back next week, you'll be able to do that course again." She replied with a resounding, "Yup." Back straight. No hesitation in her response. A determine look.
Don't you just love that?
We All Have It
Flight and Fight is within us all.
You know that feeling. That inadequate feeling.
Flight tells you to stay in bed; no one is going to support this project; you failed, why not give up; how dare you think you deserve to feel accomplished. And it's so audible -- that was flight crying from the mouth of my daughter.
Fight tells you to persevere; get your butt out of bed, off the sofa; make some phone calls; stay present in what you want to accomplish; this project will get done; how are you going to get support if you don't do; how will you know if you don't try; so what you failed, but did you learn?
My daughter is a prime example of how if you want it bad enough, if you want to overcome obstacles in the way, if you want to get down from a twenty-foot obstacle course, you have got to let Fight propel you forward.
So many days I have felt the warm caress from Flight. Fight reminds me that it's a trick. Revolt!
Flight is needed. It's there for a very good reason. That reason..... Danger. So, if you're not in danger from your aspirations, don't rely on it. Instead rely on the safety rope called Fight.
Remember, when it comes to accomplishing goals, the only difference between those who succeed and those who don't is Flight or Fight.
Which do you choose today, Flight or Fight?
Below are photos of our adventure (one has a short video snippet of King T. on the Mega Zip, 46-foot drop, 1,123 feet zip). Enjoy.