This week I watched a series on Netflix called Cheer about the road to the Nationals for a cheerleading team from a little town in Texas. The team was from a small school, Navarro College, that was put on the map when a home-town gal decided to return to her roots after earning an MBA and coach the sport she competed in as a high school student.
By the sixth and final episode, I was crying and cheering and I felt like my own family was leaving it all on the competition floor. I knew very little about cheerleading before I watched this, but the story parallelled so many other elite sport experiences and life journeys for many including childhood trauma, mental wellness, bullying and finding out who you really are.
What stood out to me the most in the story was the grit. People got hurt. People struggled. People broke down. But not one person ever gave up.
In a Forbes article, writer Lisa Quast said this about Grit author Angela Duckworth…
“Duckworth has spent years studying people, trying to understand what it is that makes high achievers so successful. And what she found surprised even her. It wasn’t SAT scores. It wasn’t IQ scores. It wasn’t even a degree from a top-ranking business school that turned out to be the best predictor of success. ‘It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special,’ Duckworth said. ‘In a word, they had grit.'”
Effort almost always trumps talent.
Most people will not be thrown through the air for five hours a day in preparation for a two minute and 15 second routine. But all of us have times in our lives when we just don’t know if we can take another step.
May we remember that all the people who climb the mountain or start the business or pay the debt or survive the disease did it one step at a time. Sometimes they crawled. But they kept moving forward.
Let’s keep taking that step and never forget to cheer ourselves, and all those around us, on to victory.