Recently I came across this poem by Guillame Apollinaire:

“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, We will fall!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

I can relate to this.  Likely a lot of you can as well.  This is one thing I want for my children, students, and athletes.   For us to be people in their lives who are able to nurture and challenge those in our care, and to bring them to situations that are daunting but doable.  For them to be people in our lives who respond to us, who walk with us, who will partner with us in their growth.

This is a worthy endeavor.  For them to come to the edge, despite being afraid.  For them to find out that when they get to the edge, and they are pushed in the right way, they will fly.

I’m interested in the transformation that happens in this poem that isn’t noted.  “They” say that they will fall, and “he” invites them to come to the edge again.  And they do.  In my imagination, something wonderful happened between those two points.

They grew in their trust of him.  He pushed and prodded, provided support for them, and  maybe sometimes cajoled them.  Their reticence turned into courage and determination, and they went to the edge.

It’s interesting that they didn’t jump.  They were pushed.  Didn’t think they were ready, were still holding back a little, unsure.  But he knew.  As we often do before our kids do, or our students or our athletes.  We think, “Yes, you’re ready.”  We have insight and wisdom they don’t yet posses.  So we push them over the edge.

And they fly, they soar, sometimes despite themselves.  And, it’s beautiful and breathtaking.



Husband. Father. Son. Broken, Mended.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Coaching, Leadership, Life, mental health, Uncategorized
One comment on “edge
  1. Gaye Hoth says:



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