Vanessa James / Morgan Cipres. Team Trophy 2017, FS 1

Let’s talk about a ripple effect…

Someone posted this on FB and it showed up on my feed today.  I don’t usually click on the videos because I am scrolling through.  I happened to be in a place where I could watch for a moment, so I clicked. 

While I appreciate it, I don’t follow ice skating as a general rule. I certainly don’t seek out the French team or annual championships.  Every 4 years the olympics come along and we pull for the American team. We comment on the costumes, marvel at the acrobatics and go on about our way. 

This one struck me though.  It’s gorgeous from start to finish.  This duo is in such amazing sync, it is breath-taking.  The amount of practice this must have taken boggles my mind.  The fitness level of their bodies is incredible. Their fluidity appears effortless. 

We all know appearing effortless takes thousands of hours to accomplish.  No matter your profession , effortlessness is not something that happens overnight.  Repetition is the mother of mastery. Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres must have repeated this routine more times than anyone can count.

This is the ultimate example of a ripple effect.  When they are at their home rink practicing, it is just another day.  Another day on cold ice. Another day of coach and choreographer pushing for excellence that borders on perfection. Sore muscles.  Falls on the ice. Wearing through another set of workout clothes. Shutting out every other thing mentally to focus on the task at hand.  Hitting every mark. Giving it their all and then doing it all over again.

Persistent Consistency

In those daily moments of persistent consistency, they have no idea where their actions will lead.  They have no idea that the effect will last beyond the medal ceremony. But it has. This was recorded in 2017.  In Tokyo. Almost 3 years later, I am watching it from my car while waiting in line at a drive through. I am 6462.5 miles away from where they performed.  There is only the thinnest thread tying me to this event. But while I watch, I am inspired beyond my comprehension. Thinking about everything they have gone through brings a surprising amount of emotion. I am moved to work harder at what I do.  I take an extra look at how I approach my own endeavors. Am I doing all I can to get to my goals? I resolve to give extra effort I might not think I have. 

They have no idea who I am and unless somehow they see this blog, they will never know they affected me.  They will never know how they have affected and inspired thousands of people. They are doing what they are called to do.  They are doing it well. Each day they step out onto the ice despite the protests of aching muscles or not ‘feeling it’. They prove their dedication to excellence through persistent consistency. 

This side of eternity, you may never know how you affect someone else.  Something you produce today could be used years, decades, centuries from now. It may inspire someone you are in no way connected to.

Where Can You Improve?

As Mr. and Mrs. Wright, we seem to encounter “themes” in our practice on a regular basis.  Topics of focus that cross over into everything we do. We have encountered a similar message with many of our coaching clients this week.   Persistent Consistency. How can you be persistent? Where are the places in your routine that are lagging and need more attention? What can you do to step up your game?  How can you get rid of all the things that don’t matter in the moment and focus on the task at hand. Focus leads to excellence. Persistent and consistent focus leads to excellence that borders on perfection. When you do that, your impact lasts beyond you.  You create a legacy. 

While you might never step onto a world stage, your legend might impact someone else who will.   There are thousands of people who have contributed to the performance in the video above. In the choreography alone, you have a coach.  That coach had a mom who took them to class as a youngster. They were inspired by a dance teacher. That dance teacher may have been inspired by a ballet performance. On and on the ripple goes.

I am reminded of a story that took place in the 60s.  America was on its way to the Moon and everything NASA was in the news.  A reporter, looking to find a scoop where ever he could get it was on site in Houston.  He encountered a gentleman and asked – “What do you do here?” The man’s response? “I help put people on the moon”.  Intrigued, the reporter asked for an interview. It turns out, the man he stopped was the janitor. But his mission was clear.  Clear in his mind and clear in how seriously he took his role. Because of the persistent consistency in the approach of EVERYONE at NASA, we put a man on the moon. 

Even when we can’t see it, we are having an effect. Your persistent consistency today could very well ripple through time.