Posted in Odds & ends

Inspiration in imperfection

It was way too cold to do anything that involved leaving the house today, so I ended up watching the U.S. Figure Skating championships on tv for part of the day.

At their best, figure skaters seem like magical beings who can defy gravity in ways that the rest of us can only dream about. And of course, that mastery only comes through many, many hours of practice and a lifetime of dedication.

And that’s amazing – you can probably count on your fingers the number of people in the world who can skate like Nathan Chen, and I bet there’d be some fingers left over.

But as impressive as Chen was at the end of the night, I keep thinking back to earlier in the day when we watched skaters who did not come as close to perfection. The ones who fought to land their jumps even though they weren’t fully rotated and wouldn’t count for the anticipated points total. The ones who fell and got back up again without missing a beat to finish their routines

Those skaters had to know that their mistakes had likely cost them any shot at the podium that they might have had, but they were able to set that aside and keep going. When so many things are going wrong and the whole world feels broken, I’m finding more inspiration and beauty in those flawed performances than I did in perfection.

Image by en:User:Dr.frog (en:Image:Figure-skates-1.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons