One of my favorite teachers in High School was Mr. Lynn. He was the tennis coach and he taught Geometry and Chemistry. I loved his grandpa look with the white hair and white beard and mustache. I can still picture exactly how he would lean into the center table of his classroom, half sitting on the edge with his shoulders just slighting hunched forward. He was equal parts funny, kind, with a touch of sarcasm, and a heavy NY accent. Of all the things he spoke to me, two of them have always stayed in my heart. One was that, “things that start fast end fast.” The other was more of a humorous story. He said he loved sitting in the middle of the quad and seeing how if one of us kids wanted to get from A to B, there was no thought to it – they just got up and ran; whereas for him, if he wanted to get from A to B he said it involved a lot of reflecting and convincing his tired body to get up and go.
It’s funny the memories that will come to mind at the most unexpected moments.
My friend just sent me a text and completely surprised me with what she asked. More surprising is what I responded:
This is NOT something I would normally sign up for. It’s truly my worst nightmare, the high possibility of getting mud in places no one should have mud makes me cringe. As I was watching the video for this Mud Girl event, there was this loud voice in my head saying don’t do it and then this soft whisper saying…why not? Try it once. What’s the worst that can happen?
And then I remembered my word for this year. It’s “courage”. I realized, courage can show up in an array of colors, like being brave enough to stand alone for what you believe or go against the multitude, or to make a change that takes you out of your comfort zone, or just giving yourself the chance to be bad at something new. And so that’s why I responded to my friend yes, that’s it’s the crazy nightmare I need.
It’s also why I thought of that story Mr. Lynn shared decades ago. I think as I get older, I often talk myself out of trying new things. I sit back and reflect, trying to convince myself to go or not.
Just the other day I had taken my girls to the park and as we were walking back to the car, my parents had opened up the trunk and the somewhat deflated balloon that was in there fell out and I said to my youngest to grab the balloon before it blew away. I knew it wouldn’t, it barely had any bounce in it, but without hesitation she rant to that balloon before all the words got out of my mouth. Mr. Lynn’s comment came up in my thoughts at that moment too.
One of the things I want my girls to know is to not be afraid of new experiences or change. To try new things, even if they seem scary. The best way I can teach them that is by modeling it, and when I do, I can see the wonder in their eyes and the joy. The little spark that’s reassuring them – this is fun, this is good.
I know for many people this may not be a big deal, and maybe you’re the kind of person that jumps immediately at the thought of anything new and adventurous. But if you’re like me…challenge yourself to not sit and reflect so heavily. Yes, be cautious and certainly don’t do something that will put you or others in harms way…but have the courage to try something new even if you feel uncomfortable.
And if you do, come back on here and share what it was that you did!
No act of courage is too small, and it could spark a huge positive change in you or others.