Life issues: A Dream of Flying
Anna Chase is a champion equestrian competitor. The dreams and ambitions of Anna and her father, Martin are dashed when Anna falls from her horse. She is told by doctors that she will never walk again. Anna is bitter and loses all hope. Martin refuses to face facts and rejects the doctor’s diagnosis. He determinedly mutters ” No daughter of mine will be a cripple.”
Competitiveness among parents
In the episode, questions arise as to Martin’s motives. There is no doubt that he loves his daughter. But is his desire to see her ride again mainly due to his own competitive hopes being dashed as well?
Martin is faced with a dilemma. Should he:
a. Continue to push Anna to get better even though he knows it is a remote possibility
b. Back off and let Anna find her own new challenges
c. Introduce her to other activities indoors.
Which would you do in his shoes? Martin has pushed Anna to be a champion from early childhood. He says “We’ve worked at it since she was 5. It’s our dream.” During the episode Martin is forced to let Anna ‘fly‘. He finally realises that only by letting her find her own dreams will she find true happiness.
The theme of over pushy competitive parents may be familiar to some of us. You have probably observed it among people that you know.
It is a great thing to have the support of your parents in your chosen sport or activity. Some are even lucky enough to have parents coming along to their game in the weekends.
On a few occasions, however, there is often a fine line between support and over competitiveness among parents. If you go to any sports field on a Saturday you will see certain adults who can step over this line. Many times fights have developed between parents on the sideline over a trivial incident on the field or court.
Such parents genuinely want the best for their children but are mistaken in knowing what the best actually is. Martin pushes Anna unnecessarily hard causing stress and anxiety to an already damaged girl. Luckily, Jess and Mike’s actions are enough to open Martin’s eyes to his own behaviour.
Dealing with Trauma
Dealing with a trauma such as a permanent disability is unbelievably difficult. Anna is extremely bitter after the accident. She shuts herself off from other people and withdraws into herself. This bitterness is consistent with a loss or trauma in real life.
Can you think of somebody who may have been in this position?
Are these behaviours familiar to that person?
Perhaps what makes it even more difficult for Anna is that some of the bitterness she feels appears to be out of genuine guilt for dashing her father’s dreams.
Jess sets up the situation so that Anna sees Mike, also a paraplegic, competing in a slalom competition. Mike has an extremely positive attitude and is extremely capable at kayaking. Mike becomes Anna’s inspiration and she realises if he can overcome adversity, so can she. There is always somebody else in your position and sometimes it helps to see them coping. Anna forms a new dream and goes about setting out to achieve it.
The grass is always greener…
Bill, Mike’s father, is struggling with the payments on the campground. He has lost a lot of confidence since his wife has died. When Martin arrives, Bill sees success written all over him and is initially quite envious. Martin is rich and full of ambition, both things which Mike does not seem to have at the moment.
Jess talks to Bill and reassures him that, although he does not have as much money as Martin, Bill is every bit the success that Martin is. Bill realises all the things he has got. It is easy to always think that the grass is greener on the other side. Often it is actually greener on this side of the fence so why not kick back and enjoy the scenery once in a while?