Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

May 24, 2013

Peak ‘moves’ audience as Hall of Honor speaker


Mineral Wells Index

— The 20th Mineral Wells High School’s Hall of Honor induction ceremony, Wednesday, seemed to have an athletic, kinesiological theme, but the messages were ones that ring true for all live’s endeavors.

Guest speaker Dr. Kayla Watson-Peak, a 1984 MWHS graduate, offered a message for the sophomores, juniors, seniors and all who were present.

Peak, who was honored as the 2012 University Physical Educator of the Year by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, now serves as assistant professor in Kinesiology at Tarleton State University and as coordinator of the Kinesiology Graduate Program. She has learned how to move people.

“Almost 30 years ago, I was sitting basically in the same spot you are now and I dreamed about my future,” she told the students. “And, as I pondered what would happen as I left high school and went on, I set my sights on my goals.

“I have to admit, I was confident, but I was scared.

“I was eager to begin my journey, but I was worried about the unknown.

“I was filled with an optimistic spirit, but I secretly dreaded the failure I know would surely come my way.

“I have to say, it’s been a long, exciting journey and I’m still not there. I don’t know that I’ll ever get ‘there’ – I’m not sure where ‘there’ is.

“But I’ve learned some things along the way, and I thought I would share three of those with you today,” Peak said, referring to what she considers to be the top three myths out in the world.

“I would like to bust those myths for you and hopefully help you in your future career,” she added.

The first myth Peak cited, “Practice makes perfect.”

The kinesiologist told her audience, “I have yet to meet the perfect person.”

She showed an image of Michael Jordan, a person many consider when thinking of athletic perfection. The image included a quote from Jordan, stated that he missed more than 9,000 shots in his career and lost almost 300 games. Jordan’s quote concluded, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Instead of the word “perfect,” Peak suggested, “Practice makes possible.”

A second myth, she said, comes when someone says, “It can’t be done.”

She illustrated this with the accomplishment of Chris Waddell, who was paralyzed from the waist down by a skiing accident. She said Waddell, who always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, decided he would and trained for two years. During this time, she said he developed an all-terrain wheelchair. The training, wheelchair and a support team enabled him to become the first person to climb Mount Kilimanjaro using a handcycle, one rotation at a time. His trek was documented in the 2010 film “One Revolution.”

Instead of “It can’t be done,” Peak suggests adopting the saying, “You receive what you believe.”

Finally, she challenged the myth, “It’s good enough.”

She cited one of her favorite quotations from Sir Winston Churchill – who she studied and wrote about during her early schooling – “Good and great are seldom in the same man.”

“Good is the enemy of great,” Peak told students.

Instead of this way of thinking, that anything is “good enough,” she introduced the concept of 212 degrees, signifying the temperature at which water boils.

The concept is at 211 degrees water is hot, but add one extra degree and it boils, “changing everything,” she said, adding that at 212 degrees water turns into steam, “which can power a locomotive.”

Peak explained that the one extra degree counts and can make the difference between good and great.