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Posts Tagged ‘trying new things’

Inching away from me on her rolling stool, the doctor lowered her glasses, squinted her eyes, glanced down the words “28 year old female” and said “A skateboard? Whose skateboard and why?’ She had asked how it had come to be that my left ankle was 3 times the size as my right. “I was skateboarding and I landed weird.” I said. No, my skateboarding skills are not something I have kept like a secret from you all. I had never tried to ride, save the one time I went rolling, hands stretched out, down a friend’s carpeted hallway. A couple of days ago, I was inspired by the amazing weather and the dazed feeling of happiness that comes from overdosing on sunshine, to try something new. I remembered one of many New Year’s resolution to “learn something new” and to “try something that scares me” and figured this would knock out two resolutions in one go. I had no idea what I was doing. I was scared, but I kept going. I was almost figuring out how to go more than 6 or 7 feet without stopping when I flew into the air and landed, like a heap of misguided arrows, onto my ankle.

An hour or so after the appointment, me and my crutches were navigating our way off the train platform. The weather was still as nice as it had been the day before, when I was strongly, bravely, soaring into my neighbor’s lawn, sending the skateboard on a unexpected trajectory across their driveway. I was happy, and I was surrounded by the type of people that make you feel invincible. What happened here? I was being brave, trying new things, and now I was hobbling and defeated.

Once I was home, raising, icing, compressing and elevating, I started seeing things differently. We are brave, or we act brave in the face of something we are scared of. We seek out courage when we want to do something but are not completely sure we can. “Trying something new” and “Taking a risk” or “Doing something that scares you”, are all commonly accepted as “positive” goals. You will notice that there are no caveats. It’s not “try something new and amaze yourself with how you did it perfectly” or “take a risk and it will be totally worth it and you’ll want to do it again”. It’s the initial act of trying that counts. It’s about getting on the skateboard, then smashing yourself up, and then being happy that you tried getting on the rolling death trap in the first place. You try something new, and before you find out how good you are at it, that initial experience of trying causes a change. Before you fail or succeed, you have already become more courageous for the next time.

While I don’t encourage dangerous behavior, and being safe is clearly one of the fundamentals for survival, I would like to put in a good word for adding some daredevil qualities to your week. Whether it’s Italian, or the fiddle, or speaking up when you want to, or an unfathomably hard to operate rolling plank of wood, I think you should go for it. I figure if I keep in the habit of trying new things, I’m sure to tumble and smash my way into something amazing.

xoxo

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