November 30, 2012
By rbartelson BRONZE, Nashotah, Wisconsin
rbartelson BRONZE, Nashotah, Wisconsin
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

She runs and flips and twists and lands. It’s the closest thing to flying, she thinks. As she leaps and spins around the blue floor, four pairs of finicky eyes centralize solely on her and her performance. Her name doesn’t matter. When she is being judged, she is just another athlete striving for perfection. But she isn’t perfect. Close, but not perfect.

Practice hurts. Her mind and her body ache from hours of training. The goal—that non-existent perfection. She runs and flips and twists and falls. She tries again. Again. And again. Flying isn’t much fun anymore. Defying gravity isn’t easy. Her hands torn, her ankles taped, and her shoulders stiff. Still, it is expected that she practice, improve, perfect.

Her name suggests she is a dreamer, an idealist. She knows dreams mean nothing without pursuit. Her entire life she has been chasing her dream—to grasp perfection. But perfection doesn’t come in a day. It doesn’t come in a year. It hasn’t come in fourteen years. Occasionally, she catches a glimpse of it. It’s closer than it was yesterday. Still, it’s like shooting for moon, except if she misses, she won’t land daintily on a star. It’s discouraging. Frightening.

There are times when she thinks she can’t do it anymore. The practicing and the judging. It demands excessive amounts of her energy, her time, her motivation. It would be so much easier just to say that she has had enough, that she is done. Yes, she is done. It’s no longer worth the effort. But then something happens, as it has countless times before. She sees the eyes of a little girl, much like her own many years ago. Eyes full of hope, admiration, and marvel—eyes that see perfection.

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