“Stop doubting yourself. If I can do it, so can you,” Jerome responded to my question about advice he would give athletes. Josh and Jerome are national triathletes in their senior high school year. Like other boys their age, they enjoy watching basketball and volleyball. Better if the games were live. They love music and are thrilled at live concerts. Unlike other boys their age, Josh and Jerome are blind from birth.
Here is a peek into the self-talk of the twins. I mapped each item to the optimistic explanatory style – explanations of adverse events as not personal, not permanent, and not pervasive.
1. "It is not my fault that I am blind, and therefore am not ashamed of this. I do not blame myself (or anyone else). I accept it." (Not personal – I am not the cause of this.) 2. "I do not doubt myself. I will show others I can. I ask for help, and I pray." (Not permanent – Despite my blindness, I can do things to improve my situation.) 3. "I live a normal life. I am privileged to go to school. I excel in things I do. I am good in music and sports." (Not pervasive – Despite my blindness, there are other things in my life that are going well.) You won’t see “optimism” walking around, but you’ll see Josh and Jerome. And, that optimism rubbed off from the people that mattered most - Dad Rick and Mom Annette.
How they race blind is for a longer piece in January. Don't miss it. FOLLOW me here! In photo, from left: Jerome, Rick, Josh, Annette, Jo Ann and me.