Identify the obstacle ahead.
Plan exactly how to get over it.
Pick up speed.
Lift both legs up,
Take that flying leap of faith.
Soar above a hurdle so high it has obscured everything beyond.
Land it perfectly!
Turn to check the judges' scorecards and find they have disappeared into the shadows.
Who needs them?
This was not about evaluations!
Reap the rewards of all that hard work!
The road ahead will surely be smooth and paved with joy.
Turn towards the future, ready to celebrate in the sparkle of success!
Feel the smile vanish.
An uninvited guest is shouldering a sobering consignment of issues.
The shadowy shape screams for assistance and the road suddenly narrows, again.
The joy is in the journey?
Those are your words of wisdom?
There certainly can be joy in the journey, but sometimes it’s awfully nice to stand in the gentle waves of a sundrenched beach with a cool drink and nowhere to go.
Just when it seemed safe to get back in the water...
Eyes focus steadily forward on another ominous obelisk.
The silhouette of the looming obstruction blocks out everything else.
It impedes perception of past progress.
It makes it hard to imagine the breathtaking future, seen as a reality only moments before.
It isn’t falling into old habits.
It isn’t that the finished work was worthless.
It isn’t backsliding.
It isn’t failure.
It’s a whole new hurdle, and now it’s time to get back to work.
The uninvited guest... Unwelcome? Not exactly.
This escort... Unwanted? No, that isn't quite right.
Unsought but so well-known is this companion.
Skin, blood and bone are more easily abandoned.
Consider the weight of the load as it shifts to your shoulders
It feels both novel and familiar
Let this unsolicited guest tie the bundle tight
Try to see the ropes that bore into your back as the ribbons of a magnificent gift
And try not to feel discouraged.