At age 47 almost 48 I guess I am pretty ‘settled’. Difficult things arise everyday and some are more challenging than others to figure out how to deal with but even so these situations never really feel ‘hard’. Given this I guess I am not really all that challenged most of the time. The reason I can now say this is because over the past few months I have been really challenged with the addition of new things and it’s helped me to experience the positive benefits.
I have wanted to scull for years. 3 months ago a friend was taking sculling lessons. She was having so much fun she suggested I take lessons with the same company. So I signed up. Initially I was freaked out trying to balance the scull and stay away from obstacles but as the weeks progressed it got easier. I was in a single and then started sculling in a double with my rowing partner. The double seemed much easier and was a lot of fun. We went from the beginning class to the intermediate class and our coach decided that because we were doing so well that we should enter a competition. My rowing partner and I were totally up for that but I did I really know what I was getting myself into? We kept rowing in the double and rowed a few times in the quad. It was still a lot of fun. My skill level was pretty good but it still needed a little work. I’d only been rowing for a little more than two months. When we started picking up the pace for racing…it was hard and I got frustrated. During this same time since we hadn’t been in the singles in awhile so we went back to singles and for the first time, the narrow single. I fell out of the boat twice in one day. I had a mini meltdown.
One day later I was rowing in my first sculling competition. I ain’t gonna lie, it was hard but it was also fun. For me, growth happened when I gave into the mental & physical challenges and was able to realize that they are part of being new at something. ‘This too shall pass’. This is different than not trying or allowing your mental & physical challenges to continue to effect your performance (which then effects other areas of your life).
Some of the positives:
- I am putting myself out there in the world even though it’s challenging.
- I didn’t give up.
- I got to use my mental training in a new way.
- My brain dealt with some very new, scary, frustrating situations and got through it.
- My body dealt with some very new situations and came out OK.
- Being scared comes and it goes; if I let it.
- Emotions are a part of the process of doing something new.
- Doing something new is not like anything else. It’s better.
- Changing or rearranging something I’ve been doing is not the same as doing something new.
- Old ‘dogs’ can learn new tricks.
What does this mean for you? Learning to play a new position, play a new song, act out a different role or work in a new modality of art can be scary but are you going to let scary stop you from gaining all of the inherent benefits; benefits that could lead you to better, great, different new things? Scary, frustrating, irritating and the like only last for a short period of time but the benefits last forever. I am a sculler!
Photo credit: nordicphotos.com