Just before New Year’s, I took a trip out to Camelback Mountain with my family and went snowboarding for the first time in my life. I spent the majority of the first day falling (more often smashing) into the ground on the bunny slope, but that didn’t discourage me at all. I came into that day with the mindset that I was going to fall a lot before I could start making significant progress. With this mindset, I was finally able to make it all the way down the bunny slope on my first run of the second day, and I was elated with the small progress I had made.
On my very next run, I fell down backwards, slammed my head into the ground and broke my right wrist.
While recovering from my injury, I listened to an episode of the Bruce Lee podcast discussing a time when Bruce Lee injured his back during a routine training session because he didn’t warm up properly. Doctors told him he would never be able to practice martial arts again, which got him quite down at first. Soon enough, however, he started researching his own injury and ultimately created his own path to healing.
I decided to apply this wisdom by trying to understand my own injury better. Why was it that I fell, and what changes can I make to my mindset and my approach to make me less likely to fall in the future? I remembered that on my first day, I was hesitant to lean into my turns out of a fear of leaning in too hard and falling. Even though I knew leaning in hard is exactly what you’re supposed to do to make sharp turns and avoid falling, there was a part of my subconscious mind that was afraid to do so.
Taking it a level further, I decided to see if there are other areas of my life where I’m afraid to lean in. I quickly realized that from anxiety around trying to boil water to make pasta for the first time to fear of sending follow up emails after networking events, there are actually a lot of areas in my life where I’m very hesitant to just lean in and do what needs to be done.
When Bruce Lee was recovering from his injury, one thing he did was take out a business card and wrote the message “walk on” on the back. He then put that business card where he could see it every day to remind him to continue moving forward with his recovery. For me, the message is to “show up and lean in.” I want to both commit to new things that will help me grow and to go as deep as I can into each new thing I try.
I’m writing this blog up as a synthesis and archive of what I think about and learn each week. I hope that reading about my thoughts, experiences, and mental connections gives you some new ideas that you can apply in your own life.