Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm not perfect

Last night I watched the ladies gymnastics team finals. When Alicia Sacramone fell on her beam mount, it was like slow motion. Her face showed what she already knew - the US gold hopes were all but dashed. My heart sank in sync with her fall. And then the floor. Cringe. This is not a rip on Alica. In fact, quite the opposite. I was in gymnastics from the time I was about 10 to 15. I had a goal to be on the U of U gymnastics team. I made it to level 7 optional and even got gold on bars in the Utah Summer Games. I rolled my ankle on a dismount from bars and during my recovery (about 8 weeks) after prayer and much thought, I decided that I would give up gymnastics in order to pursue diving, cheerleading, and enjoy my high school experience a little more. So much has changed in the sport since then - the vault is completely different and I'm still not sure I understand the scoring. One thing hasn't changed, though, and that's the pressure to be perfect. Even at the amateur level I was at, the expectations and pressure were stifling. I cried many nights about my back handspring series on beam or my giants on bars. And so, as I watched her fall, I didn't think about the US losing the gold, I thought about how many nights she's going to lay awake thinking about that mount. About what went wrong. How she could have done it differently. How she wished she could go back. I wished I could give her a big hug, look into her eyes, and say "it really is okay." You don't believe it now and you are feeling horrible, but it REALLY IS OKAY.
I thought about that on my run today and how often I still feel that pressure to be perfect. These feelings are more self-induced than anything, but it is still there. I need to look myself in the mirror and say the same thing "It's Okay if you're not perfect. You're going to fall sometimes. Just get back up and do the best you can."
We love Laurie Berkner at my house. We listen to her Victor Vito CD at least a few times a week. Here's a song from that CD. I love it for myself. I love it in regards to my kids. I love it in regards to my husband. I can always do better, but when I expect perfection - from myself or anyone else - inevitably, I am disappointed.

I'm not perfect, no I'm not
I'm not perfect, but I've got what I've got
I do my very best, I do my very best
I do my very best each day
But I'm not perfect
And I hope you like me that way

We're not perfect, no we're not
We're not perfect, but we've got what we've got
We do our very best, We do our very best
We do our very best each day
But we're not perfect
And we hope you like us that way

You’re not perfect, no you're not
You're not perfect, but you've got what you've got
You do your very best, you do your very best
You do your very best each day
But you're not perfect
And you know I love you that way


Buch Bunch said...

I watched that last night too! My heart was broken for her as she fell! You could just feel her sadness and frustration through the TV! They are still amazing - hello, a silver medal is nothing to snuff at. - But I know it's not that they are ashamed of the silver as much as they are sad because they know they are easily capable of the gold. Anyway, I'm glad you quit gymnastics so that you could pursue cheer so that I could get to know you! Olympic Fever continues!!!

Miss Molly said...

OK--a) I didn't know you were a gymnast!
b) This was a wonderful post that i needed

Get Hooked said...

I too felt so bad for that girl. It's one thing to be competting individually. It just makes it that much harder when it's a team effort. I loved the lyrics to that song. I need to find it. This was a GREAT post. We all need to look ourselves in the mirror and say that. Thanks!!!