Our View: The power of perseverance

Our View: The power of perseverance
(Photo/John Todd)

The story of Alexandria resident, and women’s soccer great, Briana Scurry, is one of great achievement and devastating loss.

There are many takeaways from Scurry’s life story, related in “Going for gold” on page 1 of today’s Alexandria Times. She’s a woman with considerable talent and drive who was surrounded by love both growing up and now. Perhaps most importantly, she found the strength to persevere when she was at her lowest point, when her life seemed to be at a dead end with little hope.

Scurry possessed the physical strength and mental resilience to be the last line of defense, the goalkeeper, on two gold-medal winning Olympic teams and the famous 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team that won the World Cup. She also possessed the internal fortitude to just barely keep going after suffering a devastating injury that left her physically, emotionally and financially spent.

We write, and people read, feature stories for many reasons. It’s interesting to learn of the varied lives and accomplishments of our neighbors. There are facets of others’ lives that we empathize with – things that we have personally experienced. There are other elements to which we can’t directly relate, but with which we sympathize.

The core element of a great feature story, however, is when it inspires us – and Scurry’s life certainly does that. We can draw inspiration from a child who realized her dream of becoming an Olympic champion, from a daughter so devoted that her mother’s pain mattered more than her own and from a woman who, when life was at its bleakest, simply persevered.

In the dark days of December, as COVID-19 cases are swelling yet again locally, nationally and worldwide – see “COVID-19 surges in Alexandria” on page 3 – simply persevering is sometimes all we can do. A resident recently described enduring a period of almost unbearable pain as simply surviving until spots of color could eventually be seen in an otherwise bleak landscape.

Scurry’s story shows us what that slow blossoming can look like, and that if we can only “look to find a reason to believe,” as the singer Rod Stewart wrote, a renewed life is possible.

‘Tis the season

Festive Alexandria returned with a splash last weekend with the holiday trifecta of the Campagna Center’s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, Santa arriving by boat at the Torpedo Factory and the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.

Perhaps it was because last year’s parade was a casualty of COVID-19, but the crowds seemed larger and more enthusiastic than usual at Saturday’s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend Parade.

The parade had the usual collection of bagpipes, clans and dogs – and participants tossing candy – and was visually buttressed by creative businesses that participated in the parade. Compass employees carried festive, large balloons, while Case Design had a truck with a moving movie screen showing home improvement projects.

And Santa was one busy guy, first participating in the Old Town parade and later pulling up to the docks outside the Torpedo Factory by boat. Meanwhile, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights was so beautiful that we read resident comments saying it took them up to two hours to get into Old Town and park – but that it was worth the effort.

Happy holidays, Alexandria!