The Greatest Monkey Bar Swinger of All Time

Are you willing to do what it takes?

The Greatest Monkey Bar Swinger of All Time

After weeks of trying, Kubla makes it across the monkey bars all by himself. He does it again. And again. And again.

The next day he’s back on the monkey bars, gaining speed and confidence and callouses.

One day a big kid does the monkey bars—Backwards!

Kubla tries it and falls into the dust. He tries again. He falls again and again.

“Forget it,” he says. “It’s too hard.”

“Is it? Maybe you just need to train better.”

“But I’m already trying so hard!”

“Not harder,” I say. “I can see how hard you are trying. Let’s train better. Try again.”

I guide his hands so he doesn’t flail around. When he gets tired I support his weight a little. Fifteen minutes later he doing it unassisted.

“Kubla, this is great. You tried harder and smarter and you did it. Let me ask you—do you want to be a good monkey bar swinger, a great monkey bar swinger, or the Greatest Monkey Bar Swinger of All Time?”

“The Greatest of All Time!”

“Hmm,” I say. “I believe you can do it. Are you willing to do what it takes?”

We train every day for a month. I put ankle weights on his legs. I tickle his ribs to distract him as he’s swinging across. Forwards monkey bars. Backwards monkey bars. Twirling monkey bars. Jumping to the 2nd bar. Jumping to the 3rd bar. Leaping from bar to bar with both hands at the same time.

Is he the Greatest of All Time? Probably not. The best he can be? Confident and fun? Absolutely.

How do you encourage your kids to excel?

In two weeks I’ll give a free Kidorable Umbrella to whoever makes my favorite comment and shares this post on the platform of their choice.


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