Fall Forward – A Thought on the Importance of Perseverance

It has been almost a year since I posted anything here. This is disappointing to me. They say that one must regularly utilize a talent lest it become lost. I’ve noticed this truth in certain areas of my life and I hope writing will never be one of them. On a scale of one to Michael Jordan on the talent scale, I might be a High school ball player in terms of writing skill. I think I have the basics of this writing thing down well enough; but I don’t think I’ll be winning any National or League championships. But writing has always felt like a conduit that I can use to access the deeper parts of myself. It’s a venue to let out the things that are within me; and perhaps I’ll be able to occasionally hit a game-winning shot.

So the question is what is on my mind tonight? Obviously, I am thinking of writing. But what do I say beyond the fact that I want to write? Sometimes getting back into the swing of something you used to do regularly is simply going through the motions. Your heart might not be completely there, or you notice a difference in the ease in which something was accomplished has changed. I’ve noticed this in physical exercise. You get out of a routine of doing certain things and the body becomes softer, the movements less familiar, and it’s almost like you’re either starting over again, or you seem to be worse off than you were before.

Your muscles become sore more intensely from less effort than they did before. You have to push harder to do the same things. You find yourself breathing harder sooner and your endurance is not as it was. So let this be a cautionary warning. If you love doing something, don’t forget to keep up regular practice. If you let it go too long, you’ll come back and find that your ability is rougher, more haphazard, and you might get frustrated.

Don’t let that be a reason to give up. I know I have things that I used to be able to do that I might be able to do with difficulty if I could do them at all. It once seemed that I could run forever without tiring. I could practically run up the limbs of a tree. I could climb polls in the playground at my elementary school and ring a bell that was easily a good 15 feet above the ground. I could play the French horn with reasonable proficiency. I could…

So there’s the crossroad. Do I mourn what I could do and resign myself to not doing those things any more? Or do I look within myself for a spark of strength that I can fan into a fire of passion and desire? Do I take muscles that are weak from disuse and hone them into machines that can do more than I ever could before, or do I continue to let them atrophy?

So I just want to end this beginning post with a bit of inspiration that I encountered this past weekend. I came across a video that overlaid a speech by Denzel Washington given at the University of Pennsylvania. His speech was centered on this line, “If I’m going to fall, I don’t want to fall back on anything….I want to fall forward. At least that way I’ll be able to see what I’m about to hit.”

leap-of-faith

He goes on to talk about taking risks. So I’m thinking about that. I’m thinking about taking some risks. It’s a risk posting your thoughts on the internet, particularly on a blog like this that is available to anyone who happens to type in the correct sequence of characters in a search box. People may like what is here, they may not. What I write might influence a thought or, even more, it might influence an action. Or it might not. But I’ll never know unless these words are put out there. I might still never know. My words might be like the proverbial smile that’s offered to a stranger that gives them hope to keep living their life even though their life up to that point had almost overwhelmed them to the point that they no longer wanted to live.

I hope it’s not arrogant to have thoughts like that. I hope it’s not presumptuous to think that I could influence someone’s life like that.

I only know that there are people that have done that for me. There are people that have come across at the right time in my life that have kept me thinking that one day more in this existence might be beneficial not just to me, but maybe to someone else as well.

We all have our insecurities. I have them. I’m sure, whoever you might be, that you have them too. Know that you have value. Know that life is worth living. There are moments of beauty, and though they may seem rare, perhaps they’re more valuable for their rarity. Know that you are valuable because there’s nobody else in this world exactly like you. Whatever is holding you back, look inside and cut the chain.

Fall forward….

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