The Simple Goal

It’s such a simple goal

It’s comes so easy to us

It comes with little thought

but just a small ‘Yay!’

Yes, we might practice on our form

or distance

But nothing like this

Biting down hard on his lip

The look of concentration in his eyes

The force behind the throw

The ball leaves his finger tips

Archs high in the air

. . . and misses

Throw

Miss

Throw

Miss

Throw

Miss

Throw

Miss

Throw

Miss

A hundred times over

The sweat dripping down his neck

His hair damp from the effort

His shirt wrinkled

He takes the ball

Gets a firm grip

Throws

His wheelchair kicks back against the force

He watches the ball, longingly wishing it would swoosh inside the net

It circles the rim

and falls

on the other side

Another miss

I run across the gym floor for the ball

I put the ball inside his reach

He looks at me

He shakes his head

He wants to give up

He is tired

He knows he’ll never make it

He’s done this so many times

Each time so close

but not close enough

He can’t do it

It’s not possible

“Hey, I know you’re tired.

But keep on trying.

We can do this.

YOU can do this.”

His hands slowly move forward

and takes the ball

He paws his fingers forward

Moves the ball into the position he has done so many times

each time with the ball missing by an inch or two

He throws

Misses

I run for the ball

I pray

“Dear God,

This means so much for him.

Please let him do this.

Amen.”

I turn around

His hand is up to his face

defeated

his whole body shows it

I move the ball around in the air

trying to get his attention.

I call his name.

“I know you can do this.

You are so close.

All this has been practice

and this time you can make it.

Come on, you can do this!”

He takes the ball

He throws the ball

He misses

I run for the ball across our side of the gym

No one sees his struggle

No one seems to think it matters

They should

They don’t see his smile

when the ball hits him in the face

and he laughs

They don’t see when he is trying

but can’t seem to do ‘good enough’

They don’t see his longing looks at the other kids

to be like them

To move

To use his legs

To carry on a conversation

I am jumping up and down by this point

“You are doing awesome!

This is all on you.

You can do this!”

I emphasize each word with a jump.

I look at the clock

one minute until gym is over

I throw the ball to him.

He catches it awkwardly, like he always does

But he catches it and that makes it beautiful.

He looks at me.

I nod my head vigorously.

He bites down on the left side of his lower lip

Moves the ball into position.

The ball leaves his hands

I hear his wheelchair kick back from the force he puts on the ball.

The ball arches perfectly.

The ball rolls on the rim

. . . and falls in.

The net swooshes.

The ball falls

The ball bounces.

The music is cut

and the coach yells to clean up.

I turn

and see the biggest smile

He starts laughing

I start jumping again

I praise him on what an accomplishment it is.

“I am so proud of you!

You worked so hard

and you made it!”

I look around at all the others in the class

knowing all too well that they could have done this feat so easily

But they aren’t the ones who practiced non stop

But they aren’t the ones who are in a wheelchair

But they aren’t the ones who kept going when they were tired

It’s such a simple goal

It’s comes so easily to us

It comes with little thought

but just a small ‘Yay!’

But life is not fair

Some people struggle to do the simplest things

The simplest tasks can take a great amount of effort

Nothing like the satisfaction in himself he feels when it is done.

He softly whispers,

“We made a basket.”

 Håkan Dahlström / Foter / CC BY

Håkan Dahlström / Foter / CC BY

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2 responses »

  1. He should be proud of himself! He showed determination beyond most. And you should be proud of yourself for encouraging him to be persistent until he reaches his goal. That in itself can be exhausting. Good job!

    Like

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