The double axel. The only forward-takeoff, two-and-a-half revolution jump. The most difficult jump I have mastered in my eight-year skating career. 

For some skaters from my experience, it takes on average at most a year or so to get this jump. For others, maybe ten months, six months, three months, or even two weeks. My friend landed it on her first day.

It took more than two years for me to get a double axel. Two years of tears, frustration, and despair. Fall after fall, it seemed as if I'd never be able to master it. That jump was a concrete wall ten miles wide that I could never seem to be able to break through. At times, I just wanted to quit. But I never gave up. Hundreds upon hundreds of fall per week never hampered my goal of mastering the jump, even as others around me--coaches, skaters, and my parents--lost faith not only in me, but in my skating. It was time to call it quits, they suggested. Without this jump, I wasn't going to get very far in my skating career. I was just wasting my coaches' time and my parents' money. Although it was tempting to give into my self doubts, I never let them control me or my will in mastering the jump. I remained optimistic through it all. Because I loved the sport. One jump wasn't going to change that.  

One afternoon, more than two years after my first attempt, after some five thousand failed attempts, I finally landed it. Finally.

Throughout the process, I learned to persevere though adversity, work towards reaching a goal, and find self-belief and confidence within myself, even when it seemed as if no one had faith in me. I knew that I was capable of landing this jump—I had mastered every double jump except for the axel—but the double axel proved to be one of the biggest struggles of my skating career. Knowing I was capable of the jump was one thing, but pushing through when you have every reason not to was what made the difference. I could have easily quit the sport then and there, but I didn’t.

As long as you never lose faith in your own abilities and potential, trust yourself, and never give up, it will happen.

Start from the basics, and continue from there. Think creatively. Work effectively and efficiently. Maybe you need to move to a different spot on that wall--change your surrounding environment. Or maybe you lack the right tools to succeed--get the fundamental tools, the support, and the necessary coaching. Perhaps you just need to slowly, but surely, chip away at that concrete wall of yours, chunk by chunk, piece by piece. Yes, it may take time, but honestly, nothing in life comes easy. 

If this helps, I'm still facing many other concrete walls to this day. 

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