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Sunday, November 14, 2010

great expectations

I was so excited to go skating with my mom.

She and I watched countless hours of figure skating championships together.  I would sit in wonder, staring at the likes of Michelle Kwan and Tonya Harding.  They moved with such grace and perfection.  To me, they were perfection.  As beautiful as white swans gliding across the ice. 

But my absolute favorite to watch was Scott Hamilton.  He wasn't so much a beautiful white swan as he was a white stallion on the ice.  He was young, saucy and always had a fun routine.  And here's the deal sealer, making him my favorite figure skater of all time: He always did back flips on the ice. Always.

When the time came for my mom to take me to my friend's birthday party at Skate America - coincidentally my first time on skates - I was convinced that I could do a back flip.

Just like Hamilton.

My mother, bless her heart, never once crushed my dreams.  I bragged the entire car ride to the skating rink. 

"I'm gunna do it, Mom.  Just like Scott Hamilton.  I'm gunna flip." 

I put on the skates, and wobbled confidently to the edge of the rink.  My mom stepped onto the floor before me and held out her hand.  I stepped onto the rink.

"Okay, Brett," said my Mom.  "Show me your flip."

I froze.  I could not move.  More experienced skaters were flying by me.  I was standing at the very edge of the floor, unable to budge - and certainly unable to do a back flip.

Well, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.  I must have made it around the rink that day without bruising or hurting myself in any way, because the fear of moving is all that stands out to me about that day.

Something similar happened to me the other day.

Here at Regent, I am the editor in chief of the Daily Runner (www.dailyrunneronline.com).  I assigned myself to cover the annual Clash of the Titans debate, an event in which famous/outspoken political affiliates come to discuss the state of the nation.  This year, Regent hosted James Carville, Laura Ingraham, Henry Ford and Charles Krauthammer.

I said to myself, "I am a seasoned journalist.  No problem.  I'll go to the event, ask a few people a few questions about their expectations, take notes and in t-minus two hours have a presentable and professional article to show for my hard work."

Oh, so false.

Because when I arrived at said Clash of the Titans debate, all my confidence was gone.  I was like that Kindergartner frozen on the skating rink.  I was literally hiding behind a large white pillar in the middle of the Communications and Art building.  I felt green, so fresh, so inexperienced. 

Sometimes, I think we all think like I did on that day.  We pick a challenge, we see what others are able to do with ease, and we say to ourselves, "Yeah, I should be able to do that - no problem."

Then the time comes for us to put our words to action and we freeze.

If I had the determination, persistence and skating lessons, I'm sure I could have eventually learned to skate like Scott Hamilton.  However, that day was rather discouraging to me.  I stuck to dancing.  Same challenges, except the floor isn't quite as slick.

However, I do have the determination to make it in the world of journalism.  And though others in the industry make it look so easy, I have to remind myself how hard those before me have had to work to get where they are today.

I hope you all will read this and be encouraged to keep your hand to the plow.  Even in the midst of discouragement or fear.

In the mean time, here is a video of Hamilton and his famous back flips.  Effortless.



Eva said...

FIGAROOOOOOOYou are an awesome journalist, practice makes perfect chica :)<3, E

Elisa said...

He is so crazy wonderful. He's gettin' long in the tooth, poor guy... but those back-flips aint!I just had a conversation with myself.Thanks for updating your blog, little mama! Sounds like you are taking big steps, Dub. Keep moving forward..or else you might be moving backward. :-) SALLY FORTH.Love,-Elisa

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