Graceful // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

I’m not too graceful.

Watching the Olympic skaters recently made me wish I could skate like that — but my feeble attempts at Shue’s Pond have been much more like duck waddlings than swan swimmings.

Downhill skiing is the same way for me.  My feet point out — and therefore my “snowplow” doesn’t plow, and equals “full speed ahead!”

My few excursions beyond the bunny hill have always ended the same way:  “Look out belooooooooooooow!!”  CRASH!

I’m not very graceful at swimming either.  When I met Cathy, she was the lifeguard at the college swimming pool, and all I could do was doggie paddle.  I tried to get her to rescue me several times from the deep end.

It’s a good thing my value as a person isn’t measured by how graceful I am!

It’s more important to be gracious than graceful.

Remember back in January 1994, when skater Tonya Harding paid a guy to club her opponent, Nancy Kerrigan in the knee?

Immediately after the attack, Kerrigan wept in pain and confusion, “Why?  Why?”

Harding was a “graceful” skater — but a most ungracious person.
Kerrigan, on the other hand, was both graceful and gracious.

I recall wiping tears from my eyes, just a month later, as Nancy Kerrigan, though injured, won the silver medal at the Lillehammer Olympics.  It was the best performance of her career.  The crowds stood and cheered for a long time.

When it was Harding’s turn, her laces broke and she stumbled to an eighth place finish.  Vindication!  We reap what we sow.

During the uproar after the attack, Charles Barkley, the surly NBA star said, “I heard Tonya Harding is calling herself the Charles Barkley of figure skating.  I was going to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character.”

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