This year has been about trying new things. When I was telling a friend that I was bummed that the Tri season had come to an end, she asked if I skied. I haven’t skied in about 10 years, but was thinking about getting back into it. The competition season doesn’t have to end just because Tri season is over, why don’t you sign up for the Birkebeiner?
So without putting much thought into it, I went home and signed up. I’d figure out the finer details later… like the fact that I didn’t own a pair of skate skis, or that I’ve never actually skate skied before… just minor details.
I was recently watching the Kid’s Baking Championship on TV and I think adults could learn a lot from watching kid’s compete. On this particular episode the kids were tasked with making a cookie cake, AKA a bunch of huge cookies stacked on top of each other. The kids tackled the task before them with enthusiasm. Then came the moment to stack the cookies. Some were great, perfectly stacked, nice and even. But others started to break apart as they were stacked. But instead of throwing in the towel, they just pushed those broken parts together the best they would go, used some frosting as glue, and covered it all up with more frosting.
The best tidbit I came away with after watching that show is that the kids weren’t afraid to try and fail. Because they knew that there was also a chance they would try and succeed. And that to try and fail, really meant, to try and learn.
Back to my Birkebeiner training. I had my skis, I was at a trail with man made snow, and I had watched some YouTube videos on how to Skate Ski. I was set. Until about five strides into my first practice session when I knew that I was far from all set. I was on a 1k loop and I was being lapped multiple times. I made it around the loop once, took off my skis and went straight to my car. Ugh, I thought, how am I going to make 50k when I barely just made 1k. But instead of wallowing in self pity, or giving up, the first thing I did was send out an email to a fellow coach that had a ski instructor in his arsenal of coaches and got some one on one coaching.
As adults I think we get so wrapped up on needing to appear like we know everything that we’re afraid to try new things for fear of looking foolish. But if kids had that same fear they would never learn and grow. And as an adult we should always strive to continue to learn and grow. There is a great big world out there, surely we can’t be expected to be and expert on everything just because we’ve reached adulthood. I encourage everyone to get out there and try something new, even if it’s a little scary. You never know, you might find a new passion!