The More You Fail, the Likelier You Are to Succeed

Evelin Gerda Tóth

It was the third time this week that she had come home late. Marie’s mother didn’t ask a word, as she was very busy with her work as well. She wanted to tell why she was late again, she wanted her mum to know how hard she tries. But instead, after a quick meal she went out running. Again.

Marie has been ice skating since she was five, and it really is her life for now. And she loves it. She has tried many sports before, but ice skating is what really made her feel like she was on top of the world. So she practiced, practiced every day without pause, because she knew that every minute spent practicing would pay off eventually. However, there is a combination that she cannot do, no matter how much she tries.

She is facing a very important competition next month that can decide her career, and still she is unable to do a trick in the second part of her incredibly complex programme. Obviously her mother and her sisters support her in any way possible, but there are things that even they can’t help with. For the past few weeks she would stay in to practice even more, after the compulsory lessons, on her own. Marie is outstandingly talented compared to anyone her age. When she was little everyone just thought that she was simply born for this sport. This is the faith she was brought up in, and she hates to disappoint. So she never does.

So here she is, running miles for the third time this week because it gets her mind off of how she failed to do the trick again today.

“Marie was never the kind to give up easily.” This sentence has been going through her mind all day. Her father used to say that, and every time she repeated it in herself, somehow it gave her an inexplicable strength. It is the day of her competition for which she has been practicing for months. She knows that she is good, that it’s in her blood, but she also knows that she hasn’t yet been able to do the trick perfectly. There were two times before when she did it, but they both had some mistakes, which only she and her coach noticed. “But at least she did it, right?” said her mum after each attempt.

It is now that the lights go out and the music starts to play. Every part of her merges with it as well as with the ice, and she just slips and slips towards the end of her so-far-perfect round. She starts to feel a little shaky but keeps her mind still. Because she has started it. Marie has started the first move of her nearly undoable trick. And only now does she realise that something has been missing so far. The last drop of her willingness. She always knew the she was capable of doing it, she was just too comfy in her situation of being able to do something that others might not. So she gathers her strength again for one last time and starts to spin.

And she spins and spins and spins.

And she does it. Perfectly.

She can barely hear her mum saying “I always knew!” through the cheering crowd, but her smile is enough to indicate that she always knew as well.