. . . where the pen is a darned mighty thing

Saturday, February 20, 2010


by Jo Robertson

Competition is a healthy enterprise, right?

An individual learns to improve his or her skills, perform under pressure, and experience satisfaction from doing their best.

Right now much of the world is watching the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Really, you have to admire the sheer skill and discipline that brings these competitors to this point in their careers.

Might I add the sheer perversity? The Olympics is not the place for the faint of heart or the frail of determination.


Today ten-year-old Nina competed in her first public performance in the wide, disconcerting area of a mall.

She sang "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog, and I am not at all biased when I claim that her rendition was flawless -- perfect pitch, calm exterior, sassy charm.

She was perfect.

Everything else was not.

The microphone's sound cut out. Feedback screeched through the air. The mall's massive vaulted ceilings sucked up the volume like the last gasping breaths of a dying smoker.

Nina was the first performer of the day, and by the time the second singer's turn came, the kinks had been worked out. Sigh.

Everyone always says the three most important traits in attaining your goals are




Today was a good lesson for my little friend. She won't understand how valuable a lesson until she's older.

She was the epitome of grace under pressure. She never faltered in her composure or her control.

She was a trooper.

And she didn't cry until she reached the car to go home.

What about you? Have you ever geared up for an event, worked your heart out, and had everything possible go wrong? How did you handle it?