WOW Word-Of-the-Week #444: Challenge

February 7, 2013 by  

Challengea test of one’s abilities.

Do you LOVE a good challenge? Or do you tend to dread it? When was the last time you felt tested? How long did it take you to handle the challenge?

Long time reader and friend Bernice had to say this about WOW #440 on Self Talk.

“I really related to this week’s word, self-talk. It was a big part of my success in the water. Being a goalkeeper you are “alone” half the game with just your thoughts. Especially after your opponent scores, if your self-talk is negative, the rest of the game would be a bigger challenge.

 Learning how to have positive self talk was a challenge. It is easier to dwell on the bad! Once you figured out how to boost your own confidence, the results were amazing. Positive self-talk is hard to teach, especially to young ladies. Thank you for writing on this subject to help remind me to keep up my positive self-talk!”

 Just to give you a little background on “Bernie” AKA “Bernice the Furnace,” I met her in 2001 when my niece Kellie got married. They both played on the USC water polo team and were team captains their senior year in 1999, when they won the Women’s Collegiate National Water Polo Championship. That same year, Bernie won the Peter J. Cutino Award as the top female college water polo player in the United States.

She was clearly destined for greatness in the water, as she played goalie for the USA water polo team and won the silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. She was an assistant coach and team manager for the Beijing 2008 games.

When I asked her how she got the name “Bernice the Furnace” she said, “It was bestowed upon me in 2000 at a tournament before the Sydney games by an announcer. He had asked earlier in the day if I had any nicknames and I told him in elementary school the kids would tease me by calling me Bernice the Furnace.” I also told him I did not care for it at the time. 

 Then all of a sudden during a game, after I made a save he says “Bernice the Furnace is getting HOT!” and he went with it all game and it was pretty funny. I went all those years in grade school hating being called “Bernice the Furnace” to now embracing it as a part of me.  When people pronounce my name the other way, I actually use “Bernice the Furnace” to help them remember how to pronounce my name.

When I asked Bernie what her WOW should be she said, “I like the word challenge! We need challenge! I like to tell my athletes, if it were easy, everyone would do it!”

And boy, isn’t that the truth! This week’s focus is dealing with challenges. How do you handle having your abilities tested? Do you like it? Does it make you stronger and want to persevere through it?

Reader Responses

“Challenges can also be looked at as obstacles to overcome, but the word challenges is more positive. It helps us to keep thinking positively of something that will help us improve our abilities and to grow. Whenever I am met with a challenge I usually say, “Piece of cake,” or “no problem.” I guess that it is something I relish because I want to improve. Obviously, none of us is perfect. It is important not to view challenges as obstacles because of the negative connotation. We have to look at a challenge as the glass half full, not half empty. If we do, the sky is the limit in terms of improving and moving on up in life. Let’s stay positive. – “Warrior” Joe


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