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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

it works - for now
     "Mom, watch I can clear the vacuum!" were the words I came home to one day.  Middle-school aged J then proceeded to show me that he could hurdle over our new vacuum.  "Impressive," I said.  "However, I don't think you will be too impressed if you need to pay for a replacement vacuum if you break this one.  J thought for a moment, put the vacuum away and stacked couch and chair cushions in its place.  Thus began a tradition of cushion leaping in our home that continued until about 4 years ago.  The boys would start with one cushion and keep adding them, one at at time, until they could no longer clear the stack.  Not surprisingly J joined track in long jump and high jump.  C joined in long jump, high hurdles, and this year added pole vault.  Today was B's first meet in his first year of track.  He is eclectic in his interests: sprinting, shot put, long jump (when the pit dries and the sand is no longer cement hard) and high jump.  Eclectic is also a good description of his high jump form, influenced some by the Western Roll, some by the Fosbury Flop and some by inexperience.  And yet - he kept clearing the bar.  It got down to two jumpers, 8th grade, 5'9" B and an almost 5' 7th grader with an impeccable Fosbury Flop. They both easily cleared 4'4" and again 4'6".  They both missed their first try on 4'8".  After his miss C went up to B and talked to him for a minute.  B shrugged, "Okay," in response.  On his next run he ran straight at the bar, rather than approaching it from the side, and jumped feet first - just like he was cushion jumping.  He cleared 4'8", the 7th grader did not.  B approached and cleared 4'10" in the same couch cushion manner.  At 5' B would run at the bar and then stop short just before jumping.  After approaching this way a few times C called out, "You already won - there's no pressure, just jump."  That helped clear B's mind.  He was not able to clear 5' but he was able to complete his three attempts.
     Walking home I asked B what C had said to him, thinking that it had something to do with the cushions.  I was wrong, C had said, "You're bigger than that kid, there's no reason you can't jump higher than him, just go for it."  B paused for a minute and then added, "That boy was really good at the Fosberry Flop.  I don't think I can progress unless I learn to do that properly."
     I am in total agreement.  However, it was fun to have a temporary flashback in time.


    
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