Yesterday, we went to Open Gym at the gymnastics center. One of the activities at the center is known ominously as “The Pit.” The Pit is a very large hollow area filled with foam blocks. Kids jump into The Pit from all sides; some kids use a small springboard to propel themselves into The Pit. The particularly courageous climb the steel ladder off to the side and shimmy themselves out on the gymnastic bar which hangs over the center of The Pit. They dangle precariously for a few seconds before releasing their hands and dropping… a free fall into The Pit.
Katie went first. Katie is fearless. My husband helped her climb the ladder. He helped her shimmy herself out toward the center of The Pit. Katie’s flashed a bright smile as she hung from the bar, her tiny fingers holding tight. Although she had not an ounce of fright, my own heart stopped as I waited for her to fall. Release. Katie’s small body flew downward as she let out a yelp. “Again, Daddy! Again!” Katie squealed. The onlookers giggled because Katie looked so small dangling from that big bar. Like I said, Katie is fearless.
Maddie went second. Maddie is working on being brave. My husband helped her climb the ladder. He helped her shimmy herself out toward the center of The Pit. Maddie’s face went pale, and tears fell from her scared eyes. “I don’t want to do it!” Maddie yelled. So my husband helped Maddie climb down the ladder. She sat and watched a few more kids take a turn, and then she reconsidered. “I want to do it,” Maddie announced. So my husband helped her climb the ladder, again. He helped her shimmy herself out toward the center of The Pit, again. Maddie’s face went pale, and the tears fell, again. But this time Maddie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Release. Maddie’s body flew downward as she let out a yelp. “I did it!” Maddie yelled. “I did it!” The onlookers applauded because they knew Maddie was scared. Like I said, Maddie is
working on being brave.
I sat on the side of The Pit and watched Katie and Maddie climb and fall, climb and fall, climb and fall. My girls…fearless and brave