What is one thing that every high school student fears? Rejection. There are few things that seem to shred a student’s dignity than getting rejected by a crush, a team, or speaking in later terms, a college. How do people tend to deal with this problem? By avoiding life entirely.
A few years ago this was me. I would stay home from tryouts; auditioning for a musical group was absurdity; and talking to a crush, well that was unthinkable. That was until I stumbled upon Ryan Leak’s documentary, Chasing Failure.
Leak narrates the story of how he pushed away fear and tried out for the NBA. Not because he was the world’s greatest up-and-coming basketball player, but because he had a dream. His intention was to, hopefully, succeed, but he knew that failure was a real possibility. During the film he encourages anyone with a passion to try things that scare them. He states that this is the only way to see where your talents lie and is also the only way to live life to the fullest.
This was a wake-up call for me. The very next day my life changed entirely. It led me to gain new skills in gymnastics, which helped provide me with the third-highest vault score in the nation for my level. Shortly afterwards I tried out for volleyball (which led to a lot of failure, but put me on the path that I am on today). It also helped me talk to my crush (which meant more Failure), but I will never wonder what could have been.
One thing for sure was that failure became a regular part of life, but life became so much more meaningful. Once in a blue moon I even succeeded. I participated and won push-up contests. I won writing essays; and I tried four different sports. Best of all, though, was that I was growing stronger as a person, and my outlook on life was much more positive.
So the New Year approaches, pick a resolution that will last forever-a lifestyle that impacts every aspect of life, but really is quite simple compared to losing weight, getting better grades, and other shortly lived resolutions.
We are only in high school once. In the last few years of life, it will not matter if high school was an experience filled with embarrassment and failure. What will matter is the story we can tell, the memories we’ve made, and the things we’ve learned. This I can truly say can only be found by Chasing Failure.
For more on this incredible journey or to see if Leak makes the NBA, check out Ryan Leak’s book or documentary Chasing Failure.
Leak, Ryan, director. YouTube. YouTube, YouTube, 24 Nov. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwj3fI66Dug.
Images from ryanleak.com and ryanleak.com-chase-failure