Gymnastics is one of my favourite sports to watch…so when I saw a clip of a viral video on the news recently about Katelyn Ohashi’s perfect score for a dance routine, I watched spellbound and so enjoyed her exuberance and delight in her own performance, her confidence and above all the jubilation of her college teammates. I was in awe of her athleticism and skill and above all the sparkle of her presentation….it was just so way to go…!!
Yesterday an email from a literacy site I subscribe to, dropped into my inbox. I saw it referred to that same perfect dance routine. I then read on and my initial “feel good for someone else” moment was taken to a whole new euphoric level!
This article described how Katelyn had been an outstanding gymnast as a child, but the accompanying video link clearly showed how her smiling face changed to one of almost sheer misery over the years, however good her performance. Then she was also plagued by a string of injuries and the joy vanished completely. Her face became a sad and desperate mask.
She battled through her injuries and multiple criticisms and then took the momentous step down of joining a college team. This meant she could never compete in the Olympics, but amazingly and heartwarmingly, her enthusiasm returned, as we all saw in her flawless performance that went viral! The article commented that she may have now achieved more fame than if she’d actually been part of a winning Olympic team!
What a lesson in overcoming hardship and above all enjoying each other’s successes, for our classrooms!
How important it is that students learn that it’s not “all about me” and my individual performance and achievement. It is so much more fulfilling, when they participate together as a group or part of a team and learn to exult in another’s success and cheer that member on to do even better!