If I can, so can you!

I had the pleasure of watching Cirque du Soleil’s “Ovo” in Atlanta yesterday evening. What a remarkable display of human capability! I almost wrote human “physicality” but to limit what they did to mere physical acts would likely understate what was involved in their performance. To do what they do must take enormous mental focus and emotional steadiness.

This particular show is an “immersion in the teeming and energetic world of insects.” The costumes were fabulous and the acts, especially the high wire and the trampoline/climbing wall, were breathtaking. It can be refreshing and inspiring to see such a spectacle, where people are functioning at the edge of the performance envelope available to human beings.

I am of the opinion that it is good to stretch your figurative legs on occasion. Pushing yourself to go beyond the familiar or the comfortable keeps life interesting as it typically broadens your ability to touch and inspire others. So doing also bolsters self-confidence, an element of character that can work wonders in a pinch.

Two of my extended family members have undertaken falconry, a sport that challenges comfort zones in more ways than one. The falconer’s life begins with the passing of a difficult written examination administered by the Department of Natural Resources, followed by a two year apprenticeship. To top it off, the first task of the apprentice’s life is to trap a wild bird, more often than not a maniacal, sharply-taloned Red-tailed Hawk and to “man” it, which means to get it used to close human contact.

Their progress is a delight to behold as it seems that not a day goes by without some type of new challenge that pushes each one to their limits and then slightly beyond. You cannot expect to grow as a person if you are not willing to push yourself or to be compelled by others on occasion. It matters not if the activity is mental, physical or emotional, the point is that if you reach beyond where you are you will gain flexibility, capability and strength in the process.

While I don’t anticipate jumping repeatedly (and untethered!) from a 30 foot rock climbing wall onto a trampoline and back up again anytime soon, I do know that I will rise to whatever occasion may come my way, even if it requires that I push through or conversely, relax more deeply to overcome fear, weakness or unfamiliarity.

So can you!

16 thoughts on “If I can, so can you!

  1. Coco

    Love Cirque!! It is not your grandfather’s circus. Someone had a new view and others had the courage and tenacity to help make it happen…yea!!!

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  2. DeeDee

    Bravo on your last two posts “On Maturity and Priority” and “If I can, so can you!” Our teenage son was telling us at the breakfast table about the most recent episode of MTV’s “World of Jenks” where Andrew Jenks follows an underprivileged Texas high school senior who is the town’s football hero, with a good chance to make it to the NFL one day. My son was describing how this young man turned his circumstances in life around to help others in a “If I can, so can you!” way. He also was convinced that no matter what he did in life he would be successful as long as he was doing what he did to help others, and his commitment was to whatever the level of opportunity might eventually be, whether it was through the NFL or as a high school counselor or coach. My son was so impressed by this and we had a great discussion about it – I was thankful your posts were fresh in my mind so I could really reinforce the inspiration he was feeling. Thanks!!!

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  3. J.J.Mc

    I’m not the physical “dare devil” type but I have learned I have a fair amount of emotional endurance. I’ve learned that fear, weakness or unfamiliarity will rule and stifle a perfectly good life. Confronting those with patience, confidence and perseverance opens doors that are remarkable and many times not imaginable at the moment to me.
    You never really know what you’re capable of and what is possible until you push the boundaries.
    Dare to live!

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  4. Kolya

    It really is amazing to see the capabilities of people increase as they try new things or expand what they may already know. I’m so glad everyone’s so different and unique!

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  5. Colin

    Those cirque de soleil shows are amazing! I know from my past experiences that you never find out how far you can go unless you are willing to push the boundaries of what you think you can do. It has served me well in the past. I also know that there are areas that I have not pushed those boundaries in, and I really look forward to making that happen in the future.

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