Monday, May 19, 2014

True Grit: Michelle Kwan's Tosca

When I need inspiration, I look to Michelle Kwan. Her "Tosca" freeskate from the 2004 U.S. Championships in Atlanta, Georgia is nothing short of amazing. It has nothing to do with the seven triple jumps that she landed. It has everything to do with the heart that she showed. No matter what the naysayers said, or the incredible pressure that Michelle was under, she always found a way to be strong, stay positive, mentally tough, and lay her heart on the line.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of grit in psychology is a positive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. Commonly associated concepts within the field of psychology include perseverance, hardiness, resilience, ambition, need for achievement, and conscientiousness. Michelle Kwan embodied the concept of grit throughout her career. She approached every challenge head-on and skated with attack, joy, and conviction, and heart. She was motivated by the desire to be the best, to give everything and hold back nothing.

In the last year or so, I have let fear creep in and take control of my life. I have held back because of doubt, indecisiveness, and negativity. I can't always define what it is that I'm afraid of. Is it a fear of not living up to my potential? Or is it a fear of my potential being without measure? I sometimes fear that I'm not following the correct path, but in truth, I don't always know what the correct path is. My best friend once told me that it doesn't matter if I don't have all the answers, or if I don't always have a clear idea of what it is that I want to achieve; the most important thing is to be driven by the desire to be the best version of myself, the desire to move forward in all ways. In order to move forward to be my best, I need to be strong, positive, persistent, and above all, have true grit.

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