Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

Getting Up

Earlier today I took the kids the park. Not just any park, but the park referred to as the “Shoots And Ladders” park. Honestly, I have nom idea why the call it that. The park is massive. It contains a water only area, a sand box, tire swings, a centralized mini play area (bridges, slides, ladders, etc.) and an entire section reminiscent of something from Neverland. The Neverland area has cargo nets to climb, tunnels to crawl through and of course slides to, well, slide down. Really, the Neverland area feels like a gigantic tree fort community. It’s cool. Heck, I want to play in it.

Well, as soon as we get there, Cora and John take off running and head over to these very large steps that lead up to a cargo net climbing area. Cora ran, jumped and climbed these stairs. While doing so, she frequently turned back to remind us she was #winning and that we needed to move faster. Her gloating caused her to take a huge spill. She fell like a ton a bricks. We thought for sure she’d end up with scrapes, cuts and tears. Nope. Instead, she picked herself up, didn’t brush herself off and said, “hurry up.” A parent witnessing the scene marveled and said, “that’s one tough little girl you have.” That she is.

Here’s the thing. We all fall down at some point, literally and figuratively. Falling down is expected. Failure is the norm. The real question, the real thing we’re evaluated against is what we do after we fall. It’s how we pick ourselves up that’s remembered. Did we sulk? Whine? Dwell? Point a finger? Complain? Cry? Look for pity? Or, did we take responsibility, learn from the experience and gracefully start again?

I don’t dwell or point the finger. I learn and move on. The quickest way to succeed is to fail. Seriously. Ever watch someone learning how to ride a bike? They fail repeatedly. They crash. They scrape. They cut. They cry. They fall. But, eventually they ride. Failing often and fast, while learning from the experience helps you go from not knowing how to ride a bike, to never being able to forget how.

  • Mis Kyrene

    when i was 5, i decided to teach myself to learn how to ride my new bike since my father was too busy beating my mom and my mom was too battered and in pain to hold my bike. with no one to hold me or pick me up when i fell, i kept getting on each time i fell and i fell ALL afternoon.  by the end of the day, i was coasting and cruising up and down the neighborhood. of course, this wasn’t ideal. i would’ve loved to have had a parent there to help me get up again.  and every time i see a scene on TV with a mom or dad (usually the dad) holding the bike steady, i think, “lucky them. i never got that.”  but y’know, i bike everywhere every day and each time i get on, it’s with a smile because i vividly remember how i kept getting up without self-pity.

    go Cora! 🙂  she is a tough kid, but she’s also very blessed to have you as her dad.

  • I think it’s also a good example of how involved she was with the task. She was so busy doing her thing, a fall doesn’t make a difference. When you’re fully engaged with something, failure doesn’t mean that much.