Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The Vaughan stubborn streak is legendary in our family.
It manifested in my dad through his unrelenting quest to finish whatever it is he may have started - be it changing a 6 cylinder Studebaker into a 4 cylinder Studebaker or going after a hole-in-one which he finally accomplished in his 80s (after 70 years of devoted golf playing).
In my case, it's heightened determination to do something after being told I can't. My first memory of this happening was in high school chemistry when the teacher announced that girls in the class should figure on getting a C since no girl had ever done better than that. So, despite not having any fondness for chemistry, I sucked it up and got an A. Another big one was when I was granted only a probationary admittance to grad school despite great test scores. My undergrad college wrote evaluations rather than give out grades so, without enough grade point credits, the grad school was reluctant to give me full admission. Harumph. First semester in, I got a 4.0 and ending up graduating at the top of my class. The most recent occurrence was just last week. A few weeks ago, my fiddle teacher had given me Red Haired Boy to try playing. Last week, he mentioned that our upcoming recital would be held at the end of June. I said, well, how about I play Red Haired Boy for the recital. He hemmed and hawed and said that it was a bit too tricky and we'd best find something else; he'd pick something out during the week. Tonight I showed up for the lesson, opened the book to Red Haired Boy and he said - ah, we were going to find something else for the recital. I replied with, how 'bout I play this for you first. Play I did...and raised some eyebrows. Red Haired Boy will be on the program! Like I said, don't tell me I can't do something!
Fortunately, for the run to Michigan, noone let it be known (to me, at least) that they didn't think I'd make it. There was no room for doubt in that endeavour...the challenge was daunting enough - and, besides, my brain was too full of the vision of running toward the view of Little Traverse Bay to make room for nay-sayers. I was quite amazed to discover afterwards how many of my buddies thought I was nuts to try...and unlikely to succeed. 'Tis a testament to their friendship that they never, ever shared those doubts with me until after the run. Nothing but powerful positive thoughts were sent my way. They do make all the difference!