Last week my nephew, Aaron Cave, did the unimaginable. He broke not one, but TWO standing Guiness Book Of World Records. Say, whaaat?! That’s right. It seems that after all of these years of believin’ the lie, white men CAN jump…like gazelles!
Since doing the cyber “happy dance” for him days ago, I’ve been thinking about the principle of overcoming the obstacles of “can’ts”, and I’ve been having Lost-inspired flashbacks of John Locke’s subversive assertion, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”
It’s an intense process for sure, and it requires a level of honesty and dedication to which few of us are willing to commit. Because, the truth be told, defying the odds doesn’t just happen overnight. There’s the perseverance of trying it, and trying it, and trying it again…and again…and again. And many of us just hate the thought of having to try that hard. There’s the vulnerability of being willing to stumble and fall…and to get back up again. And many of us avoid failure at all costs. And yet, there it lies, that nagging idea in the pit of our souls: the crazy conviction that we’ve got this thing in spades.
Here’s a great visual of exactly what that process looks like in human form:
So, we go a little crazy. We prepare and we train. When we feel like we need support, we get a trainer…and we buy special shoes that are lighter, so that we can jump higher. And we jump, then we measure. And we jump some more, and we compare measurements. And we have custom boxes built so that we can jump stronger. And we get a video guy to film us, ‘cuz we feel like we’re on the edge of something transcendent. We jump higher and higher and higher…eventually leaving those that started the journey with us in the dust. And we’re jumping higher than we’ve ever jumped before…higher than we ever knew we could jump.
Then someone says,
“Wow! That’s high!”
And someone else says,
“That could be the highest EVER!”
And suddenly out of nowhere, there’s born a challenge and a goal with laser beam focus. Everything in the universe somehow feeds into our determination to jump higher than anyone in the world ever has. No one we know has ever tried it…and quite frankly, WHY WOULDN’T WE at least try it? It’s within our grasp. Why NOT go for it?!
Clearly, it’s one thing to look at realistic limitations and accept our inability to change them. Like knowing that my 5-foot-10-inch frame will never know what it’s like to be “petite”. I wasn’t petite in my mother’s womb! So no matter how bad I want it, or how much I try, my feet will never fit into size 5 shoes, I’ll never have extra leg room on an airline flight of any kind, and I will never dance on the front row in a ballet. Petiteness is just not in my attainable future.
HOWEVER, on the flip side of that same coin, I’ve got to wonder how many of our “perceived” limitations aren’t really limitations at all. How many things have we allowed to hold us back, confine and immobilize us? How many times have we heard or told ourselves that it can’t be done? How many lies are we believing, like: “White.men.can’t.jump?”
To all the naysayers out there, I’d like to shout a big fat, “Oh really?!” Take a look at this:
You see, truth be told, white men CAN jump. They can jump really, really high. They can break world records. It just takes courage mixed with commitment and hard work…and a dash of attitude for flavor.
It takes not allowing the lies to hold you back any longer.