Just as we were pulling out of the driveway to head to the lake with my parents on Tuesday, our neighbors handed us their wake board and wakesurf board. “It’s easy!” they said.
“How fun!” I thought.
Thankfully, it was pretty calm and empty out there because the boys were really looking forward to tubing. They had a wild time flying across the water on that tube. On one side there was a set of double thumbs up, waving in the air to go faster and faster. While on the other side there was a cautionary thumbs down indicating this was plenty fast enough. Nevertheless, there were smiles all around.
Then it was time to try the boards.
I jumped in to see if I could show them how it was done. After the initial dispute between Scott and I about how in the world you get started doing this wakesurf boarding thing, I said, “Let me just try it and see.” I only got up to my knees and they got beat up so badly after a while, I let go. I tried again and again with plenty of flailing and splashing, but still couldn’t make it past my knees. Oaks jumped in to try, but after the initial round of trying to stay on the board floating behind the boat, he quickly decided he was out. They threw us the knee board, but after several bouts of the rollover, he was out on that one too. So I gave it a go.
Faceplant after faceplant.
Time was running out so they just threw me the old school skis. Skiing is like walking for me because my grandparents lived on a lake growing up. We circled those coves all summer, flailing and splashing, until we finally figured it out. (There were plenty of faceplants and wedgies to go around back then.) I skied us back to the dock and the kids had lots of comments about skiing looking so easy.
But they were only seeing the finished product.
They couldn’t see the hundreds of times I’d fallen and sucked up half the lake through my nose. They couldn’t see the countless tears and extreme frustration of not being able to get up, time and time again. They couldn’t see the hours of hot sun and sunburns my parents and grandparents endured to help me learn to ski.
They were only seeing evidence of persistence.
I wonder how often you look at someone else’s life and compare your current struggle to their finished product. I wonder how often you miss seeing the struggle and think they just have it easy. Or how often you think it will never be that easy for you.
I wonder how often that kind of comparison makes you want to give up.
Persist. Keep going. Don’t give up now. You don’t know their whole story.
You’re only seeing the evidence of their persistence.
The struggle made them, and it’s making you too.
to more love,
P.S. If you’re local, tonight is the night! It’s GNO in the Kitchen! From the outside, you may only see the evidence of Liz Conlin’s persistence. But tonight, you’ll get to hear about the struggle that has made her, and it will make you feel less alone. You’re not the only one. Get your ticket now.