Throwback Thursday: Pride, Perseverance, Math and Martial Arts

Going through our archives, we came across this great post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars from August 26, 2015 “Pride, Perseverance, Math and Martial Arts” that we wanted to share in case you missed it the first time around.

Fairly often, someone says to me,

You must have been really proud of Ronda when she won XXX

which I usually respond to by saying,

I am very proud of all of my daughters.

because this is the truth and I am a very bad liar.

I got to thinking about this yesterday when someone came by who is working on a movie script. He kept asking me about particular events and as I looked back on it, those days never stood out as much as people seem to expect. I am really proud of all of my daughters, though.

Giving some thought, I came to this conclusion … It’s not any one day that I am proud of them. It’s the culmination of all of the days.

Everybody has good days and bad days. Winning a world title, earning a masters degree, getting a book on the New York Times best seller list, having a 4.0 GPA on your report card – all of those are good events. What I’m proud of, I realized, is the total of the days leading up to those events, their perseverance.

Things finally clicked when he asked me,

Is there a connection between your ‘two lives’, all the math and statistics that you do and martial arts?


There is. It’s perseverance. It’s being able to give up what you want now for what you want most, not just one time, but many many times.

None of my girls are perfect – and all of you people who want to pile on when one of them makes a mistake can go f*** yourselves. What they all have is persistence. When they fail a test, have a bad day, make a stupid mistake, they may cry for a while but they pick themselves up and try again tomorrow.

The reason many people fail in math is that they give up. They don’t get the answer at first, they don’t understand the problem, so they throw their hands up and say, “I’m just not good at math!”

There were times I would read my statistics textbook, get to the end of the chapter and not be able to do any of the problems. Then, I would just start from the beginning and read the chapter over again.

When Jenn received her masters degree from USC,  we didn’t even go to the graduation. (I tried to talk her into it but she didn’t want to go.) I wasn’t any more proud of her on that particular day than I was on all of the days she got up early to go to class and studied late.

We’re in an Ed Tech accelerator now and Maria and I are often exhausted by the end of the day. It adds hours of meetings, classes and gathering data on to the hours we already have to put in for game development and marketing. Yet, we’ll be up at 8 am tomorrow, for our first meeting.

I’m not proud of my daughters because they succeed one day or because they never have a bad day. I am proud of them because no matter what happens, they will get up and try their best the next day.

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