Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pride, Perseverance, Math and Martial Arts

Fairly often, someone says to me,

You must have been really proud of Ronda when she won XXX 

which I usually respond to by saying,

I am very proud of all of my daughters.

because this is the truth and I am a very bad liar.


I got to thinking about this yesterday when someone came by who is working on a movie script. He kept asking me about particular events and as I looked back on it, those days never stood out as much as people seem to expect. I am really proud of all of my daughters, though.

Giving some thought, I came to this conclusion ... It's not any one day that I am proud of them. It's the culmination of all of the days.

Everybody has good days and bad days. Winning a world title, earning a masters degree, getting a book on the New York Times best seller list, having a 4.0 GPA on your report card - all of those are good events. What I'm proud of,  I realized, is the total of the days leading up to those events, their perseverance.

Things finally clicked when he asked me,

Is there a connection between your 'two lives' , all the math and statistics that you do and martial arts?

There is. It's perseverance. It's being able to give up what you want now for what you want most, not just one time, but many many times.

None of my girls are perfect - and all of you people who want to pile on when one of them makes a mistake can go fuck yourselves. What they all have is persistence.  When they fail a test, have a bad day, make a stupid mistake, they may cry for a while but they pick themselves up and try again tomorrow.

The reason many people fail in math is that they give up.  They don't get the answer at first, they don't understand the problem, so they throw their hands up and say, "I'm just not good at math!"

There were times I would read my statistics textbook, get to the end of the chapter and not be able to do any of the problems. Then, I would just start from the beginning and read the chapter over again.

When Jenn received her masters degree from USC,  we didn't even go to the graduation. (I tried to talk her into it but she didn't want to go.) I wasn't any more proud of her on that particular day than I was on all of the days she got up early to go to class and studied late.

We're in an Ed Tech accelerator now and Maria and I are often exhausted by the end of the day. It adds hours of meetings, classes and gathering data on to the hours we already have to put in for game development and marketing.  Yet, we'll be up at 8 am tomorrow, for our first meeting.

I'm not proud of my daughters because they succeed one day or because they never have a bad day. I am proud of them because no matter what happens, they will get up and try their best the next day.





13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr.AnnMaria I love you and I admire you and your daughters so much.I read your blog religiously and I have learned so much from your experience and you always give sound advice.Your blogs resonate with me deeply,I am a 22 old female engineer and the way you share your knowledge and wisdom with us about many areas of life is priceless.
I have read Ronda's book (which is an incredible book) and you can clearly see there patterns of great people (be it you or her or your daughters) ,and a repeated pattern is never giving up.
You taught your daughters how to win at life and now you are teaching us.

Thank you so much!

Dr. AnnMaria said...

What a nice thing to say. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. You seem to be pretty wise with your advice and life experiences and such.
I've had a couple of experiences in life myself that I won't go into detail over the Internet but that's the thing though right bad shit happens to everyone what matters is picking yourself up and giving it your all the next day.
Very wise point of view indeed.

Thays Alquati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cuivre said...

There are many phrases I am passing along from you to my Godson who is now in college. The comment on "what you want NOW, versus what you want the MOST", is one such phrase. I hope he takes it to heart! That has been how I treated much of my career on the way to a Ph.D. in physiology and endocrinology-while working a full-time job.

Anonymous said...

What about your son??? Or was Brent Musberger inaccurate?

Andrew Roddy said...

As a math and physical education teacher......I cannot agree with what you said more. Perseverance is the "it" factor and I have been preaching it to middle school students for years. The more this gets out there, the more successful young people we will have. Ironically, the same talks I give in my math classes are the same that I give in my PE classes, and the same I give to my teams that I coach because they apply across the board. Getting kicked in the teeth by something "you are not good at" and continuing to try and work HARD is what it takes to be successful. Great read, thank you.

Anonymous said...

A shame what a single picture among people who train at the same gym can cause. It looked like Travis actually didn't like the fact it was being taken, which makes sense if he thought about the stupid reactions from the all-knowing internet.

Anonymous said...


Hello Ma'am,

I just wanted to say I am in love with your daughter Ronda.

You did an amazing job as a mom and my mother as well is quite similar as well in terms of breaking my head and being on my back to strive.

:) You both are the best!

Wishing you the kindest regards all the way from The United Arab Emirates!

Saeed

Martial Alchemist said...

You are in an interesting spotlight, because people are curious about what greatness really is, where it comes from, and ultimately what creates it. People imagine that Ronda must be the center of your life, because she is the only part of yours we all have (albeit shallow and sanitized) access to. She is that special sort of shape that we can all download our ideas upon, good and bad.


It provides me some solace that people are seeking out your insight, that maybe we should be wary not of greatness itself, but what we all think greatness actually is.

Peace to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

man i hope the rumors about rondas new bf are not true that is just a trainwreck waiting to happen.

Aira Bongco @Noobpreneur.com said...

Perseverance pays. Whatever effort you put out in the world, that's what you will get back. That's just how the world works.

Emily said...

Great post. I just finished reading Ronda's book and I thought it was a terrific dose of motivation and inspiration. Best of luck with the accelerator!