“I don’t give up.”

[CELEBRATE This Week No. 230]


Jordan’s wrestling matches started this week. Last year he joined wrestling in the middle of a very short middle school season. It was his first attempt at wrestling. He spent a lot of time getting pinned. It is what we described as a learning and character building year.

This year he couldn’t wait for wrestling to start. They’ve been practicing for weeks and this week the season officially opened. Instantly we knew Jordan had been working hard and learning the moves and strategies of the sport. It was evident in his performance on the mat.

Thursday was a four way match, so Jay wrestled three times. There was much to celebrate.

  1. Jay won his first match with a pin. When it was over, he came to see us on the bleachers. He slid next to us and smiled. “Good job!” Andy congratulated him. Jay smiled and wave at me. “Way to go, Jay!” I said. He smiled more. Then he left as quickly as he came. This might not seem like much, but in terms of attachment it is huge. Jay found us to celebrate. He didn’t have any words, but he was proud of himself. We were the people he turned to in the moment of victory. I’m so glad I didn’t miss it.
  2. In the last match of the night, Jay went against a giant 8th grader. By the third period he was down 15 to 1. It was excruciating to watch as Jay turned and arched to avoid being pinned. Then in the last few seconds, his opponent moved to the side and Jay took the opportunity for a reversal. With less than 10 seconds left, Jay pinned his opponent. The crowd erupted and his team swarmed him on the mat. Jay’s smile was so large it stretched across the gym.
  3. On the way home, Jay said: “That’s my coach’s favorite kind of win…the come from behind win.” I smiled and said, “I bet you’re glad you didn’t give up.” Jay paused and then said, “I don’t give up.”

I’m so glad I didn’t miss his meet or the chance to pick him up after they returned home. He is a kid with an ugly history and he is writing the next part of his story in a remarkable way. It is true, he doesn’t give up. I celebrate his resilience.

This post is part of a weekly offering to celebrate in the middle of the muddle. I hope you join the celebration!

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Whenever it fits in your life, add your link.  Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

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  1. I am so thankful that you shared this. I am connecting with it on so many levels. For where we are right now with our DD, these lines speak to me the most: “This might not seem like much, but in terms of attachment it is huge. Jay found us to celebrate. He didn’t have any words, but he was proud of himself.”

  2. Ruth – This post made me cry – many of yours do! I’m so glad Jay is with a loving family, writing the new chapter in his life. I love that! AND it is amazing what resilience and perseverance can do! How can teachers/parents bottle that and give it to kids? When I had kids in my class who were going through difficult times – I knew to worry a little less about the ones who had that “I don’t give up” attitude – I knew they would find a way to pull through and succeed. One former student of mine, Arman, is both dyslexic and dysgraphic. He struggled through elementary, middle, high school, and college – never giving up – and always finding new successes. I am so happy that he and I remained friends over the years, and that the 8 year old I taught in 3rd grade is now a man approaching 30 with a good job, friends, and a winning attitude. Thanks for making me pause on a Saturday morning to remember that!

  3. Jay isn’t the only one in the family who doesn’t give up. He learned that from two parents who don’t give up, ever. Congratulations to all the Ayres!

  4. Oh, this is wonderful to read about, Ruth. I know Jay must be so, so proud of his accomplishment, and of course you and Andy are, too. Wow! Please tell him congratulations for me, and about that “not giving up”, a terrific mantra!

  5. Congratulations, Jay! And I am so glad for you, Ruth, that you didn’t miss his wrestling match. Priceless times.