Put On the Skates
Fall down. Get up. Fall down. Get up. Fall down. Get up.
We recently took our boys ice skating for the first time ... and this was pretty much how the entire evening went. They fell down ... and then they got back up. It wasn’t a super-cold night, so with each fall, their pants and gloves got wetter and wetter. The cold air, wet clothes and lack of skill didn’t faze them. With every fall, they rose again. They laughed and smiled with each wipeout and pulled themselves up with fierce determination to make it around the rink.
By the end of the night, their cheeks were cold, their butts were sore and their pants were drenched, but their resolve to skate was on fire. While we sipped our hot chocolate later that night, they gushed about how much fun they had at the rink.
My husband and I shared with the boys how proud we were of them for sticking with it. We loved their tenacity, attitude and determination to learn this skill.
Not once did they get discouraged.
Not once did they think about quitting.
Not once did they complain about the cold.
At one point, they both got new skates — convinced it might be an equipment error. But literally NOTHING slowed them down. They laughed and smiled the entire night. They LOVED the experience. And it was just 24 hours later they asked if they could get back on skates.
Lately, I’ve reflected on this experience a lot. New challenges create new opportunities for failure. Starting something new is never easy. It tests our resolve, determination, tenacity and character. It takes courage to fight the fear. It takes steadfast belief that it’s worth it. That we’re worth it.
There is a learning curve for everything. As adults, it’s hard to ride the learning curve. We want to be on the other side of the curve from day one. When we put big dreams and goals into action, we become vulnerable to failure. There are risks involved, and our fears are ignited. With each failure and with each fall, we question if we ever should have “put on the skates.” We question our ability, talent and path. Personal achievements create a massive amount of fulfillment. But most achievements take a lot of time — and a lot of failure. But your purpose is discovered, and success is achieved after falling and rising over and over again.
What if you faced your fears, took risks and embraced failure more like my boys did with ice skating? They relished the experience and ALL of the ups and downs. They never expected to be champions on skates the first night out — they just wanted to learn how to skate. They didn’t care what other people thought every time they wiped out — they were too focused on getting back on their feet. They never questioned if they could even learn how to skate — their vision of skating was bigger than any fall.
We went skating again just a few days later ... and they continued to fall, over and over. And they continued to get up and try, again and again. Their determination was still FIERCE.
Enjoy the experience and each fall. Get up, and know that you’ll fall again and again. (And again.) Appreciate the journey. One day you’ll reminisce about how far you’ve come. And you’ll remember how much fun you had along the way.