Success and Failure The 10cm Gap
Back flips, reverse Arabians, three quarter double tuck, chalked hands and sprained wrists, twisted ankles, success and failure. This is the day to day life of a gymnast.
I have always been inspired by gymnastics. I think it stemmed from when I was much, much younger, and I managed somehow to do a summersault on a bouncy castle. For the next few days I just couldn’t stop boasting about it. Hell, I am still talking about it now almost 25 years later!
Now however, I have a completely different admiration for gymnasts. First you just have to look at the physique of the men.
Pounds and pounds of lean muscle that has been acquired through complete dedication, hard work and perseverance of years of hard training. The masterful control they have of their bodies, to be able to fling around the floor at a hundred kilometres an hour while spiralling upside down, back to front, basically any which way you can imagine while treading the fine line between success and failure.
Then there are the girls. Some of these girls are absolutely tiny, yet with as much gusto as the men they elegantly throw themselves around obstacles with what seems like, although it is not, complete abandon for the safety and well being. When I see the things they can do I sit back in disbelief and say to myself “surely that is not possibleā€¯!
Well, obviously it is because someone has just done it. Duh
Anyway, I was watching the current gymnastic world championships that are being held in Tokyo. It was the Women’s All Round Final and the action was on the beam. The beam has the following official dimensions: (source wikipedia)
- Height: 124 centimeters (4.07 ft)
- Length: 500 centimeters (16 ft)
- Width: 10 centimeters (0.33 ft)
As far as I am concerned ten centimetres is absolutely nothing. The broadest part of my foot is actually ten centimetres in diameter and to make this even more real if you have an iPhone then the length of your iPhone is twelve centimeters. 2cm narrower than the beam. Scary isn’t it!
So if I were to stand on a beam (which I have no intention of doing!) there would be no margin for error, no room at all. Success and failure would be a mere fingertip away. Any slight movement would see me tumble to the ground, hopefully avoiding the beam on the way down.
Success and Failure defies laws
The young Chinese girl that I was watching mounted the beam and then continued to defy both Newton’s laws of universal gravitation and motion. Flips, spiral kicks, dainty little turns, then she faced forward, jumped up, did a backward somersault and in mid air twisted her body so that when she landed she was facing the other way. I probably haven’t described it very well but trust me it was absolutely amazing!
Unfortunately on the landing of said move, she slightly misjudged her “massive targetā€¯, the ten centimetre beam, and fell to the ground, landing on her feet. I was gutted for her! But, without even flinching, and with a broad smile on her face she mounted the beam once again and continued with her otherwise flawless routine before ending in a perfect layout.
Many of the other gymnasts stuck to what the commentator called “less technical routinesā€¯, where the girls focus was on getting through the moves. That one girl had the courage to try something different, where the margin for error between success and failure was minimal. She got it wrong and paid the price.
Success and Failure the Fine Line..
For me, she didn’t get it wrong. Yes, she knew the risk of falling and losing points, but she believed in herself to do it. When she fell off the beam there was not one moment’s hesitation. She didn’t stop and feel sorry for herself, she didn’t even dust herself off; she just got straight back on, focussed at the task in hand and finished the job to the best of her ability, despite the setback.
Just like Gymnastics, running a small home business can be a daunting task at times. The margin of error between success and failure is so fine. Do you stick with what you know and hope for the best or do you dare to try something new? Let me know what you think in the comments box below!
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