Disappointment has its Place

I am learning day by day. Learning for most is by example. Sometimes that is what makes learning the hardest–learning by experience. But those experiences should be shared with others and one of the biggest things to share with the good morning of tomorrow is the power of disappointment. You ask, “say what?”

Yes disappointment has its strengths. As long as the victim of disappointment is strong, disappointment can never be a weakness. The point is simple, short and sweet. The point begins with a talent and ends with life application. 

I am a pole vaulter. I didn’t used to be or think I would be one even if my grandfather all ready new. He watched me toddle up the steep hill in diapers, flexing my chubby legs. He saw me bending over backwards on the grass at my brothers’ high school track meets. He knew. Yes, he knew, but I didn’t.

I remember my first vault practice. From jump one I was addicted. My first meet i vaulted 7’6″. My second meet was 8″. States I tied for first at 8’6″. I remember missing nine because I bent the pole so well that I shrieked and abandoned the vault. Year followed year. Each time I set a new personal record I would set a new state record. It seemed that easy. The word on the block was, “she’s going to set the overall state record this year.” A year later it was, “this year she is going to set the sate record.”

The tune hasn’t changed and with four weeks left in my high school career, that dream seems so close but so far. Yes, every time I vault, I turn heads. But it is Vermont. Here I get first at every meet but out there, in the big pond, I could rank 24 out of 30 girls in New England. Here (don’t get me wrong it is a beautiful thing) everyone knows everyone. You know the names of every single competitor not just in your event but in all the other events too.

No, the tune sung hasn’t changed. But doubt is an unsettling thing. Disappointment CAN be a discouraging thing. But the lesson is never let the disappointment lead to discouragement. That is where hope dies. When hope dies, all is lost. It is a true unsettling thing. Each jump that goes wrong, each easy height I miss, each pole that scares me is a blow to my hope. This is where the danger of disappointment leads.

But I am strong. And my strength can be a stepping stone for those weaker than I by my story and example.

See, the feeling of disappointment begins as a temporary weight in the heart of hope. For the weak, blow after blow sends them to the ground. Eventually, they don’t get up.

For the strong, disappointment, yes knocks that person to the ground. But that person gets back up. I will get back up. I will get back up and up and up and up. I will rise. And jump again. I will strain. Push. Invert. I will fall and get up again. I will aim higher and higher knowing that the ride back to earth will only be more thrilling.

While skimming a social webpage a quote resonated in my mind, “never let the fear of failure keep you from flying.”

The same goes for disappointment. Never let the fear of disappointment keep you from flying. Never let the fear of “NH” in pole vault keep you from jumping. Never let the fear of being rejected keep you from trying a bigger pole. Never let the fear of pain keep you from doing your best.

“If you know your Maker, you will want to be the best that you can be and that is all (Ravii Zacharias).” Because your all is enough.

Disappointment is a fire beneath my feet. It hurts but I keep my feet moving. It makes me hot and angry but it makes me turn to the people around me for help and guidance. It reminds me that I am not the hero. The one who gave me my ‘super power’ is. It reminds me that God loves to make the weak strong. It reminds me of another word, “persistence” (we’ll save that one for another blog).

I am a pole vaulter. As long as I have breath a will rise from disappointment. We can rise together. It makes it a whole. lot. easier.

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