Friday, March 5, 2010

Personal Best

Throughout the Olympics we heard a lot about the term "personal best."  And lately, that's become a kind of mantra for whatever endeavor might currently be shaping our lives.  We set our goals around the idea of achieving a "personal best." 

Last night, MM and I watched three programs on PBS that were totally inspiring about people who achieve their personal best every day.

The first was an hour-long documentary of the Phoenix Mars project which detailed how a cadre of scientists worked together to bring about the technological miracle of landing on the north polar ice cap of Mars and finding evidence of water, along with other components that indicate a presence of life at one time or another.  The project spanned over six years, as they designed and tested various segments, launched the vehicle and waited...and waited ....and learn whether it had been successful.  At over four million miles in distance from earth, the time travel and the success of the mission was mind-boggling!

The second program spanned 21 years. It was the story of Barbara Morgan from McCall, Idaho, who was Christa McAuliffe's back up teacher in space.  Over that long journey fraught with all manner of challenges, Barbara Morgan never lost sight of her own mission, which was to be--not just the first teacher to fly in space, but rather a beacon of light and encouragement to students all over the world, to inspire them to do great things, among which is being a great teacher.

The third featured National Geographic photographer, Joel Sartore and the sacrifices he and his family have made in order for him to do what he loves.  As did many a burgeoning young writer, growing up, I dreamed of becoming a writer/photographer for National Geographic.  Last night's program, though, put a whole new light on that desire.  The most poignant segment for me was to watch a National Geographic editor critique Joel's photographs--images that were...well...PERFECT!  But her telling Joel they weren't good enough and that he needed to try again was truly painful.  How, I asked myself?  How could they be any better than spectacular?!

These were all people who are the very best at what they do.  That is their goal.  Every day.

For me, these three programs were linked by a shared belief on the part of these individuals that what they were doing was what they were meant to do.  They trusted that the time they invested was not only necessary, but fulfilling.  They were passionate.  Six years, twenty-one years, a lifetime...doing their personl best for whatever time it takes.

Today marks my 50th post on my blog, folks!  I never thought I would have this much to say!  For whatever it's worth, I've tried to make this blog my own "personal best." I hope over these last few weeks you've enjoyed stopping by from time to time.  Thank you all for your wonderful comments and the moments you've invested!

It looks like the sun has finally found us.  Just when we thought it never would! 

              Take full advantage and have a lovely weekend!  See you Monday!


  1. A beautiful post and a beautiful picture Elora. I'm wondering how often I do my personal best - not often enough I'm afraid. blessings, marlene

  2. I am a fairly new reader of your blog. You have a fantastic blog and I enjoy your perspectives on the many subjects you present. I can tell you are doing your "personal best" which is great!

  3. how could anyone ever critique joel sartore? I love his work...but then again, if nobody gives you constructive criticism, how will you ever grow? And congrats on your 50 posts, I think you and blogs were meant to be together!