Go for It! 730.3

by Michael Josephson on July 5, 2011

in Commentaries, Parenting, Family, Sportsmanship, The Good Life

I recently attended the USAIGC National Girls Gymnastics Championships to see my daughter Carissa compete. It was nerve-racking on several levels.

Though my wife owns and operates a highly successful gymnastics academy (JAG Gym in Culver City), and I am very familiar with every aspect of the sport, it’s hard not to worry about the possibility of injury on every cartwheel on the four-inch-wide balance beam and on every tumbling run, release move, and dismount.

Another source of pressure is the scoring system. Every athlete begins each event with the perfect score of 10. The judge’s job is to search for imperfections and deduct points for every form break, wobble or fall.

This places a huge premium on not making mistakes of any sort. In such a high-level competition every flaw can be fatal. Every girl knows how to execute every move in her routine but many can’t avoid being preoccupied with “not messing up.”

Thank goodness, real life is not like gymnastics. We are not judged only in terms of our shortcomings, mistakes, and failures. Growth, creativity, and innovation require risk-taking.

Fortunately, there’s no scorekeeper docking us for every misstep. We can trip and fall, get up, and start again as many times as we want. Most important, it’s never too late to be successful. It’s never too late to be happy. It’s never too late to be significant. So, go for it!

By the way, my daughter placed fourth in the all-around competition and won first place in the balance beam.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony Everett July 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Great post, thank you for the reminder that it is never to late for…!
Aside from encouraging people to “go for it” here, how else do you go about getting people, kids especially, to realize they are unique and have something to offer this world?

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Rex July 6, 2011 at 9:20 am

Shameless promotion of your wife’s business…the story was already complete without the advertisement.

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Sabra Darugar July 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Great post about risk taking in life.
Congratulations on your daughter’s accomplishments. I’m sure you’re a pair of proud parents, as you rightly should be.

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Rila July 8, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Some one sees a knife as a weapon to kill someone and some others see the knife as a useful tool to cut vegetables. Never deterred by negatavie comments. Keep your good work.

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Wendy LeBolt July 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm

This raises an interesting question. How healthy are these kinds of “dock you for every mistake” sports? Especially for our young female athletes. As a professional with a small business (I won’t advertise) who works to prevent injury in this population, I see it taking a huge toll. Helping them keep a healthy perspective and see the fun and gain just from competing is key. To our soccer playing women (salute to you, Team USA!) playing “golden goal” is a whole lot more fun than “sudden death.”

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