Her Fall Gave Us The Courage To Go On

Nobody enjoys falling. Failing… and all the emotions that immediately rush the soul like a crashing wave. If given in to, they will suffocate every ounce of one’s hope and determination.

And what of those who watch us… who witness our calamity? Those who were trusting in us to make it over the finish line? Those whose immaturity rested in our strength? Will our fall strip them of their belief and hope? It can…

But when we rise, we give strength to those who follow.

Peter comes to mind.   “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

The cock crew, and a grieving Peter caught the eye of the One who prophesied his denial.

No doubt he was wasted. Brought to the lowest level of self that he had ever experienced. Fail. Fall.

Just a few days later, Jesus emerged victoriously from the tomb that Peter’s denial seemed, in his mind, to seal. The words of the angel uttered to Mary as she came to the gravesite were, “go tell the disciples and Peter that he is risen”… And Peter. Jesus knew that Peter had fallen. His faith was being tested. Tried. And if Peter was fallen, surely the others were weakened by the blow as well.

Get up, Peter. Cross the line, Peter. It’s not over, Peter. “And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — German speedskater Anna Friesinger-Postma managed to capture virtually every human emotion in the space of five crazy seconds at the end of the women’s team pursuit semifinal for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

When Friesinger-Postma broke a skate on the final lap as the Germans battled against the United States, it looked as if her dreams of Olympic gold would be dashed.

The 33-year-old initially stumbled, then fell headfirst onto the ice as her skate wobbled beneath her, before sliding over the line on her stomach.

“I thought, ‘No, no, I’m falling. Oh no, oh no no no,’ ” Friesinger-Postma said. “I thought I missed up for the team.”

Banging the ice in fury and lying face down on the surface of the Richmond Olympic Oval, Friesinger-Postma eventually glanced up at the scoreboard and realized her misfortune did not matter — with the Germans having squeezed home by six-hundredths of a second.

“It was a pretty spectacular crash,” Team USA’s Jen Rodriguez said. “I knew we had some time to make up, so I wasn’t that confident. Anni was smart enough to swing her skate around and get it over the line just in time.”

Friesinger-Postma’s desperation dive put the Germans into the gold-medal race, where they produced another spectacular finish despite resting the fallen veteran to edge Japan by three one-hundredths of a second.

“Anni’s fall gave us the courage to go on,” German team leader Daniela Anschutz Thoms said.

Illustration from: http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/German-speedskater-crashes-still-wins?urn=oly,224686