"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary destiny."Resilience is a word that I have began using more at home after our staff began studying and learning about growth mindset and its importance in preparing our children how to view themselves as learners. When I learned that I had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, I will never forget walking in my administrator's office and after the initial emotional response Dayle looked at me and said with a strong voice, holding my hands RESILIENCE. That word has helped me on a daily basis through my treatment. I have learned to be accepting of change, that is part of life. To see this journey as an opportunity for self-discovery, the connections I have made have been strengthened because of the difficulties I have faced.
Putting things into perspective and nurturing resilience in our kids has been something I believe we have always done, but recently it is with more purpose and awareness. Jordan competed last week in the OFSAA Regional Track and Field Meet in high jump and pole vault. She placed 8th in the pole vault and I have so happy to see her smiling face and a text from her that she had achieved a personal best of 2.05 m with a pole across rather than a bungee (which is what they do at some meets for midget girls) - so after attempting 2.20 m three times and failing, she saw the positive and was already looking to next year and setting a goal to beat the GRCI Junior girl record of 2.3m. Then came her premier event of high jump. Out of the 15 girls, Jordan had jumped 1.48 m at WCSSA which was the highest jump of all competitors, so she knew she had an equal chance of placing. After a very long two hours in the sun, Jordan completed 1.45 m on her third and final attempt. There were 6 girls left to jump 1.50 m. On her last attempt, Jordan narrowly missed the jump, the bar falling off when she landed on the mat. There were three girls tied at 1.45 m. Because Jordan took three attempts at 1.45 m and the other girls required two, they moved on to OFSSA Championships and Jordan placed fifth. She turned and looked at us and shook her head, tears coming to her eyes. She slumped over to her coaches. Clearly disappointed. Jason and I put smiles on our faces ready to support our athlete. One of her coaches came over and helped put things in perspective for Jordan. Out of 150 schools of midget girls, 2 previous track meets where she placed 1st and 2nd place. Jordan was 5th place out of all those high jumpers. This is an opportunity for Jordan. To look forward and realize all the positive things that have come from her participation in track and field.
Despite our attempts to show our kids how to remain positive in the face of adversity, after a particular unlucky week - our van was hit in a parking lot by another driver, Cam got a flat tire driving to his hockey party and most of our computer files were lost by a hard drive malfunction - Jordan exclaimed, "we have a black cloud over us, how come everything bad only happens to us!"
We continue to be challenged as does everyone in life. Our attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. I send love to some close friends who continue to be tested by life's struggles. We often don't know the battles that others are facing. Help those you love keep a hopeful outlook, lift them up and continue to learn from the adversity you and others face. xoxo