Kevin Bell

Beyond the Bounce

Beyond the Bounce Lifelong Lessons from a Simple Toss

Kevin Bell (Image by DALLE - Prompt: Child playing with bouncy ball and younger sister wanting to play)

My oldest daughter was throwing around a bouncy ball with my wife the other day as I was watching from the other room.

They started close up as my wife would toss the ball for my daughter to catch. Each time she caught it, she’d bring the ball back to my wife and then move back further than before.

Foot by foot she kept moving back and catching the ball as the game went on. Sometimes she’d drop it, but then she’d just start from that spot and try it again. At one point, she was on the other side of the room catching big long tosses.

Then, Little Sister came into the room after hearing all the commotion from each celebrated catch. When Little Sister finally saw what was going on, Big Sister was already at least 15 feet away!

Little Sister stood there in awe! So amazed and so badly wanted it to be her turn. Big Sister finished and then it was Little Sister’s turn. But Little Sister didn’t want to start from the beginning. She came in and saw Big Sister at the very end of the game, catching balls from far away. THAT looked like fun. It didn’t look as fun to start close up.

As much as we tried to tell her, she refused to start at the beginning. The problem was, she wasn’t catching them from that far away. The coordination wasn’t there, she hadn’t felt what it was like to catch it close up, so catching it far away was proving to be extremely difficult.

Finally, against her will, we walked her closer to the start and helped her catch the first few. Then bit by bit walked her back until it was a good challenging distance for her.

Can’t we all relate??

What happened there is identical to what happens our entire lives. We see people at the end of their “journey” and how easy it is for them, how much fun they’re having, and how much they are being celebrated for their success... and ALL we want to do is jump right into THAT point.

Skip the beginning, skip the build-up, skip the practice, skip the learning… just go right to the fun part.

But that’s not how life works. What we don’t see is the time, energy, money, pain, effort, and failure, that those people went through to get to that point. We walk into the game when it’s already started for someone else.

It’s just starting for us, but all we see is how the game looks when someone else is playing it at their own pace.

It’s natural to be like Little Sister. I can’t blame her for wanting to jump right in and do what big sister was doing. But remember that the game you’re playing is at YOUR pace.

Don’t worry about where anyone else is catching the ball. You start where you need to start. Get a feel for the game and step back as you see fit. Soon, you will be catching the ball from across the room as well.

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