The Power of Perseverance


My son at the top

It was a beautiful blue sky day. One or two wisps of cloud danced in the sky. The temperature was perfect. Not too cold and not too hot. The snow was soft, fast, and plentiful.

The Summit Poma Lift awaited. My seven-year-old started up the lift for the first time ever without any worries. He easily kept the poma between his legs and kept his skis pointing up the hill. Up he went over little bumps. Up he went as the terrain steepened. Past the yellow ropes meant to stop falling skiers and snowboarders from careening down the hill into others coming up the poma. As he got over the steepest crest, he threw one fist up yelling, “Yaaaa!” and continued on up to the top.

Down Whitehorn run we skied–a great feat all-round for my little boy.

Later, we tried again. Overly confident, my son kept the poma between his legs and swung both arms above his head. A little further on, he hung on with his arms and lifted one leg and then the other zigzagging up the hill. He gazed back to see if I was looking. Horrified, I watched as he fell, trying unsuccessfully to right himself. The tears fell quickly too.

Twice more he tried from the start of the lift and fell again.

We took a break in the Terrain Park and went for a drink. “Mom, I want to go to the Summit again,” he told me. So up we went.

It was painful to watch him fall again. Crying he said, “Mom, I’m soooo embarrassed!” I tried to reassure him that everyone falls on the Summit poma at one time or another. I asked him what he wanted to do. “Go again!” he shouted through clenched teeth.

Up once more I watched and held my breath. “Please make it, please make it!” I voiced in my head. As he cleared each place he had fallen before, I let my breath out a little bit more. Not until he voluntarily let the poma go at the top of the hill could I relax. Yahoo!

I was so proud of him–not only for doing it–but for persisting when he couldn’t. I asked him what helped him do it and he said, “I just started to believe in myself.”

Persistence and believing in yourself

It was a good reminder for me. Persistence and belief go a long way in helping us succeed. I knew he could do it. He knew he could do it, but that setback scared him and he temporarily forgot. It was scary!

Taking a break

But he kept on trying. He took a break when he was getting too frustrated and when he was ready, he came back and tried again. Doing this can be really helpful! Sometimes we keep plugging away at some obstacle relentlessly when what we really need to do is take a break from it.

Believing you can do something makes an amazing amount of difference. It’s not cheesy or cliche–it’s true! As Henry Ford once said, “Whether we think we can or we can’t, we’re right.”

What are you doing to help yourself succeed?