Value of a dream grows when you have to work for it

Michael Alcorn, Hitting Home
Posted 9/13/12

So, the 16-year-old — the dancer — has plantar fasciitis now. Super. Maybe. It could also be damage to any of a dozen other structures on the …

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Value of a dream grows when you have to work for it


So, the 16-year-old — the dancer — has plantar fasciitis now. Super. Maybe.

It could also be damage to any of a dozen other structures on the bottom or inside of the foot. No way of knowing without an MRI., but we’re treating it like p.f. to see if it helps, and going from there.

Last spring, she had to wear a boot on her foot — same foot — for six weeks because she injured her Achilles tendon.

She went through physical therapy, and started a regimen of icing and heating. For a time, we even were able to get her to wear a decent pair of shoes. And, throughout most of the summer, her foot treated her fairly nicely, only occasionally giving her a little bit of pain.

But then, last week, on the first night of ballet for the new season, a new pain.

It really stinks for her, because she loves to dance; it’s like breathing for her. And we, in turn, love watching her dance.

It would be terrible if this gift and this passion are taken away from her because her body can’t stand up to the wear and tear of dancing.

So I told her the other day that she may just be getting to a point in her dance life where 20 to 30 minutes of every day, separate from her dance classes, needs to be devoted to icing, stretching, strengthening and massaging her foot and heel.

She was none too pleased at that, being a teenager, but the alternative, unfortunately, is not being able to dance any more.

It’s a little-known fact, but dreams aren’t supposed to be easy.

We all have dreams and hopes and passions — things we would love to do for a living for the rest of our lives. In some cases, those dreams are sophomoric and unrealistic.

For instance, I once really, really wanted to play power forward for the Philadelphia 76ers.

But, as we get older, and before we get “old,” those dreams start to congeal into something resembling an actual vision for our future. That’s when the hard work starts.

Visions usually occupy space in a distance; that is, they’re typically not something right in front of our faces, or along the lines of something we can achieve tomorrow. But the more we think about them and cling to those dreams, the clearer the path towards them becomes.

Unfortunately, while we’re concentrating on that thing in the future, we sometimes overlook the potholes, loose rocks and speed bumps along the way.

And those are the irritating little things that tend to discourage us.

Sometimes, it’s those little irritants that derail us altogether and cause us to give up on our dreams and erase the vision. That’s what leads too many to lives of quiet desperation.

Those little difficulties, however, are exactly the things we have to embrace and conquer. First of all, it’s those very struggles that make us stronger.

Adversity teaches perseverance, and only overtaxing your limits allows those limits to expand. And, at some point, you will have to be strong to grasp that dream.

Besides that, if you don’t have to overcome anything on the way, it either means that it wasn’t a very big dream to begin with, or that you’re not going to have anything to celebrate when you achieve your dream.

To paraphrase the amazing Bethany Hamilton character in the movie “Soul Surfer,” you don’t want easy — you just want possible.

So it’s too early to tell if my daughter is willing to invest the time and discipline to make it possible for her to dance.

I have every confidence that she will be; she simply loves to perform too much.

And, with a little bit of luck, maybe we’ll be able to nurse her through the next 10 years until somebody invents a whole foot replacement so she can still dance when she’s 90.

As for you, remember it’s never enough to ask yourself what you want; ask yourself what you’re prepared to go through to get what you want. That’s how you measure the value of a dream.

Michael Alcorn is a music teacher and fitness instructor who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. He graduated from Alameda High School and the University of Colorado-Boulder.


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