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Ann Farabee: You did it

Ann Farabee

One of my favorite – and least favorite – memories of middle school happened in PE class. Although I love sports, athleticism has never been my talent.

If students chose teams for kickball – or any game – I was always selected last. That hurt.

To participate, finish, and not be noticed was usually my goal.

On this day, while using the ‘not be noticed’ strategy, I donned my one-piece navy blue PE uniform as inconspicuously as possible, while in my corner of the locker room.

Then, as I walked into the gym, I realized it was ROPE CLIMBING day. Oh, what I would have given for a kickball game at that moment.

Weighing in at possibly 90 pounds, and quite the weakling, my expectations for myself in this endeavor were set pretty low.

I got in line, using a strategy that had worked before – slipping toward the back, while hoping the class period would end before my turn came.

I fearfully watched. I painfully waited. My turn came. This was not the first PE task that others had seen me participate in, so I felt that my rope ascension was a highly anticipated event, and everyone was planning to watch me carefully, laugh, and enjoy themselves.

I did not disappoint. I went way up that rope. Well, maybe not way up. But, it felt way up to me. I looked down and was petrified. I froze. I could not move.

My problem? My hands were locked around the rope because of my fear, and I was not willing to even move them slightly to a lower part of the rope in order to begin my descent.

I guess I would forever be known as the dope on the rope with no hope.

Students began yelling advice to me. Trust me – people yelling advice does not help.

Coach kept patiently repeating instructions. Trust me – repeating instructions over and over does not help, either.

As class time ended, I finally had no choice. I held on and slid… all… the… way…down.

*Rope burn? Yes.

Pain? Yes.

*On solid ground again? Yes.

My hands were burning, as were the tears in my eyes, but I tried to pull myself together. Coach looked at me and said, “You did it.”

Those three little words changed it all. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says to comfort and build one another up. Coach must have known that verse.

I proudly walked away, and headed to English class, where I felt like I was a pretty good writer – and could hang with the best of them.

*We will not be the best at everything, but we should still give everything our best.

God takes care of the rest.


Ann is a speaker and teacher. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com

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