Breath Taking Moments

Sep 11, 2018 | West Lexington


by Tim Scifres

In his song, “The Breath You Take”, George Strait sang, “Life’s not about the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.”  I have been thinking about the idea of moments a lot recently and thinking of some big moments in my life that took my breath away.  Moments like hitting a game winning shot as the buzzer went off my freshman year of basketball.  My high school graduation.  The moment my Master’s Thesis was approved knowing that was the last step before earning my Master’s Degree.  My first day as a high school math teacher.  Sitting on a hotel balcony in Beirut Lebanon looking out over the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea with members of the exhibition basketball team I was traveling with.  Coaching an incredibly tough and scrappy group of high school girls to a huge last-second upset in the state basketball playoffs in Missouri to send us to the quarterfinal round.  Most of these moments still give me chills when taking some time to remember and reminisce. 

As I have gotten a little older the nature of the moments that steal my breath are changing.  The moments that jump into my mind now are things like watching my beautiful bride, Jessica, walk down the aisle on our wedding day.  Being present at the birth of my two precious daughters.  My moments now are centered around my family and being able to watch them grow and flourish.  It is a joy for me to watch my wife plan and put on fantastic birthday parties for our girls.  Thinking back to watching my wife be so tough, brave, and strong through the two difficult deliveries of our girls still takes away my breath.  Seeing her dedication to train for and complete her first 10k, then doubling down on her training to run in the 2017 running of the Bourbon Chase.  These moments bring a smile to my face and a quickening to my breath, but there are other moments that are special in another way.

As a parent, there is just something extra special about seeing my kid’s faces light up with a look of pride and joy when they overcome obstacles and accomplish big things in their lives.  Watching my daughter Flora beaming with pride as she learned to read, or made up math problems to solve for me, or the day she rode her bike without training wheels for the first time.  To see the pride my daughter Lilyana had on her first day of kindergarten, or the look on her face as she opened her favorite gift this past Christmas, or whenever she makes up her latest joke and laughs harder than anyone else.  Seeing both of them perform beautifully at their latest dance recitals and watching their faces beaming with a true sense of enjoyment and accomplishment.  These are moments that truly take my breath away.

To be honest with you, my breath is also taken away watching any kid, not just mine, have that ‘aha’ moment when they do something they had been pretty sure they could have never accomplished.  I have been able to coach, teach and work with students of all ages for about 25 years and just began my 20th year of teaching high school math.  The main thing that keeps me going is seeing my students work their way into experiencing those ‘aha’ moments.  As a Mathnasium owner, over the past couple of years, I have had my breath taken away while seeing and hearing so many students have an ‘aha’ moment when they realize they can actually do their math!  They realize this big bad wolf that math had become to them was really something in which they can understand, enjoy, and excel.  These moments are a privilege for me because I truly believe kids can do math and enjoy it along the way.  Math can make sense to kids!

Does your child feel overwhelmed by math?  Are their positive math moments to few and far between?  Do you feel overwhelmed for your child and their struggles?  Does it hurt because you know deep down in your heart that your child is capable of flourishing?  Are you looking and looking to see your child experience more ‘aha’ moments, especially in their math work?  I am convinced Mathnasium can help give your child tools and strategies to guide them to having some ‘aha’ moments and gaining a confidence in math they might have never thought possible.  I believe my team of incredible instructors can guide your student to a place where they have more tools which will help them experience lots of moments that will take their breath away as they begin the process of becoming life-long learners.  I am sure you will have moments that take your breath away watching your child want to come to Mathnasium and do more math work!  Watching the look of despair and anxiety on your child’s face turn into a confident and accomplished look will take your breath away.  Mathnasium is here to serve your family by helping math become something to look forward to and not something to be dreaded.  Give us a call at (859) 219-0001 or check us out at  We would be honored to give your child tools for them to work their way through obstacles and have those ‘aha’ moments as math begins to make sense to them.