February 18, 2021

I love this word.  Eight letters that pack a lot of punch. But before I begin my actual blog, I’d like to make a personal statement to my daughter. Wendy, I am sorry for yelling “tenacity” at you from the soccer sidelines for so many games.  I must confess I should have known you  were trying your best as you persevered all those hours on the soccer field.  You continue to show your innate tenacity as an adult, without me yelling from the sidelines.

This realization came to me to as a  gift from a group of kids I guided on hikes yesterday. Their tenacity is enmeshed in the spirit of  their play, especially when engaged in something which could be considered risky or tiring. First of all, we spent the day outside in temperatures which got no higher than 30 degrees.  Each child showed up eager to get started, not knowing what form their hikes would take. 

The steadfast need to engage in adventure reared its head as we headed out onto the trails then off trail into the snow slicked hills.   The challenge, to punch their way through the frozen top coat of the snow up steep hills.  It is easy to say, “no, I don’t want to”, but no one ever did.  They were ready to slide down on their bottoms and bellies only to climb back up again for forty-five minutes. Tenacity was the key here especially when the “mountain” fights you with its slippery surface. 

Out of this determination came invention,  one hiker came up with an “ice pick” technique using one stick in each hand to stabilize himself for climbing  upward. The brilliant creation  was  watched and copied by others. I observed these young mountaineers climbing  the “Everest’s” of Avalon, surviving to live to tell the stories of sliding and I even took an occasional slide myself!

Another invention born out of their strength of purpose was a rope fastened it to a tree at the top of the hill. Using it to pull their bodies up the hill faster lent itself to an increased sliding tally.  Up and down, up and down.  Minutes upon minutes of  risk taking, laughter, and  excitement. 

And finally there is always the kid who just wants to keep going and climb higher.  She wanted to get to the top where the crunchy pristine snow glistened in the late day sun.  It was important for her to find the appropriate stick to assist her on the journey.  As she reached the top, by herself, she raised her arms and yelled, “ I am the queen of the mountain!”  A momentary state of bliss accomplished by this young person.  A tenacious snow queen.

I know yelling “tenacity” at my kid really did not help her. Just letting her be the soccer player she wanted to be or allowing these kids to climb and slide all they wanted, is worth it because the tenacity is inside all their little bodies.  They just need to tap into themselves.

Tap into your tenacious spirit!