I believe that success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm, by Leosi Kaloso

Unlike Alexis Guadalupe, who had been playing basketball since first grade, I had never even touched a basketball until I decided to play in an intramural league in the ninth grade.  My friends, who were on the team last year, motivated me to tryout. Therefore, after school I went to the tryouts and surprisingly, I saw most of my friends there. The head girl basketball coach, Coach Abigail Hare, had us do layups, free throws, running up the bleachers, three-point line shooting, two-point line shooting, and suicides. Then we had to run a couple of plays and I was so tired I could barely keep up with the other girls. I started breathing fast, my legs were shaking, and I could barely speak. I started to think that maybe basketball was not just for me. Also other girls told me that I was so weak to be able to play for the team, all those compliment really brought me down. When Coach Hare substituted me out with Molly Gonzales, my attitude transformed from happy into heart broken and aggravated. Molly was a year younger than I was; she had never played basketball before, but she was strong enough to run all the plays until the end of the tryout which I could not.

I told myself if she can do it, I can as well. I knew the next day of the try out was not going to be easy, but I had show up on time ready to go, I kept up with other players until the end of the tryout, I was supporting myself to never quit. My number one goal was to support and be there for myself. I never tried to be a a killer but a hard working fighter.

I believe in hard work and I told myself that there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

The next day I heard that my name was on the team list.  I made the team! I was on my first school team! My teammates rushed up to me, high-fived and slapped me on the back. I announced this novel concept to my mother. She was proud of me. She hugged and kissed my head. She congratulated me and wished me the best. When I moved into the tenth grade, we played against Tremble Tech high school. I still had no concept of the game, but I was fast and played with hustle and enthusiasm, so I got some playing time. I fondly remember being able to jump high enough to get my fingers over the edge of the rim. Not so fondly, I remember the fateful day I jumped incredibly high to make a pass over the outstretched arms of the defenders and came down wrong on my foot.  I sprained my ankle. It instantly swelled up to about the size of a basketball.   This injury was painful and took weeks to recover from. That was the end of the season. I was scared that I may not be able to play again, basketball was my dream career, A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. My injury did not stop me from playing basketball, since I could not use my legs I was still going to the gym to work on my hand skills with the ball.

Coming back as a junior, I recovered from my ankle injury and the doctor said that my ankle was good enough to play basketball again. I showed the notes to coach Hare and she welcomed me back to the team. I told myself not to venture off my current path, but keep practicing, because I was going to get better. That motivated me to obtain the knowledge I needed and gave me momentum to keep practicing and working harder every time I was the gym. It was bizarre because, I started to see improvement in my game and started to believe that I could do it. I was not weak as they use to describe me on the second day of the tryout. I just needed a lot of hard working in practice.

I took my previous failure and used it in everything I did. I believe that success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. I knew I could overcome anything. I had to go through a lot in my experience. First, I had to get over my fear and approach the tryouts. Then I had to go out onto the court and show my skills for a whole week. Even though I was looking a little worn, I still had to show up to check if my name was on the team list.

My success was due to good luck, and support and advice from friends and mentors. But most importantly, it depended on me to keep trying after I had failed and my hard working. My hard work paid me with benefits.

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TIB Leosi

I am Leosi Kaloso from the Fort Worth Area. I am an international student from central Africa. My country’s name is the Democratic Republic of Congo, I have made a choice to come to America to study biology and to move on deep with it into med school, i am also interested in meeting new people and developing a relationship that will last for ever. Mostly i am interested in helping people with disabilities.  Vision disabilities are the one I like to get people out of. Vision is the most important sense in the human body, and i like to take care of it. we can’t make change if we can’t see the change and we can’t be the change we hope to see in the world. Going  to Med school i will study ophthalmology so i will be able to accomplish my goal of helping people with any type of vision problem.

I Believe in Failure, by Rev. Robyn Bles

I believe in failure.  As a self-avowed perfectionist I have come to accept failure as a lifelong companion and teacher.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate failure.  Always lurking around the corner, failure was the long time the frenemy who I dreaded showing up to sabotage my big plans.  My first real experiences of failure happened right on TCU’s campus.  Breezing through high school I showed up to my freshman year thinking my usual good attendance and class participation were adequate tools for the academic rigors of college coursework.  While C’s and D’s are not technically failing, I’m sure most TCU students would agree with me that these sorts of grades were not the level of success I was accustomed to.  That first year of academic embarrassment made me check my arrogance at the door and grace the walls of the library, finally developing those much needed study skills.  Thankfully, my friend failure taught me the appreciation of hard work and the value of a truly earned A.  Though I only achieved one A on a paper in the Religion Department’s God in Modern Thought, taught by Dr. Grant, that A is still one of my greatest academic achievements.

Failure was not only my hardcore academic teacher, but also saw me through the heart-bruising affects of dissolving friendships and breakups.  Those four years at TCU were some of the happiest and most difficult years of my life.  Who knew that failing so often and with such humiliating flair would actually be good for you?  I certainly didn’t think that was part of the process, and when it happened I sure wasn’t capable of asking for help – failure wasn’t part of the achievement plan … right?

I can’t say exactly what caused me to change my perspective; perhaps it was finally being too tired of hiding my failures behind a perfectionist shroud, finding a good counselor, or just really beginning to embrace these moments as part of my life.  When I thought my life was all about avoiding failure I couldn’t fully face what was behind those moments; but when I started to accept them I began to see failure everywhere.  Not only in my life, but in everyone’s!  From the very beginning we start out falling down, again, again, and again, until we’re finally capable of taking that first independent step.  It’s through a series of failures that we finally grow, learn, and develop compassion for others and ourselves as we all struggle in the process of becoming.

Though I was fortunate enough to experience my first devastating failure at a point when I had a little maturity and life experience, this past year my daughter experienced failure at a much too young age.  At 3 days old my healthy baby suffered a heart attack and stroke due to a series of failed surgical safety precautions.  Through no fault of her own, failure has dramatically changed the course of her life.  My husband and I are providing all the therapeutic and medical assistance she needs to recover, but as her mother, one of the greatest ways I can help my daughter is to teach her that failure is not the enemy.

Almost every day I still wish this hadn’t happened to her and our family, but I also remind myself that not only do we fail many times in our lives, but the failure of others also affects us.  What is important to remember, however, is that these failures do not define who we are.   The sum of all our failures is not the value of who we are, but rather, how we respond to these failures shapes the people we become.  I still can’t say I like failure, and there are times that I downright hate it.  But I also know that while my daughter has a long road ahead of her, at 8 months old her strength and tenacity have already proven stronger than any failure.  We are years away from knowing the full extent of her recovery and I worry about how her peers will perceive her difference, but the results of this failure remind me many good things are still to come.  The people that surround her and our family have shown me that rather than hiding, sharing our failures allows authentic community and support to come alive.  Her story and courage have quite literally created a global community of prayer, support, and celebration of her many mighty accomplishments.  Her whole life might have changed on that day because of failures, but that does not mean she will fail at living a full and rich life.  We might be connected to one another through our failures, but we’re also interconnected in our shared growth and discovery because of these moments.  I believe the ways we hold one another in these fragile moments makes us better people and a better community.  I hope you’ll fail boldly and compassionately.

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GA TIB BOOK Robyn BlesRev. Robyn Bles was a TCU student from 1999-2003 and no matter where she has lived remains a Horned Frog fan. She currently lives in Des Moines Iowa with her husband Jordan, daughter Milly, and extremely friendly golden retriever Stella.  She gratefully serves with the fabulous people of West Des Moines Christian Church.  Go Frogs!