My High School sports reputation was…nonexistent. I have a confession to make, I was a band nerd. I know, you pictured me as the class jock, center of all human activity, sought out my the most popular cheerleaders…..but the truth is I spent most of High School blending into the background. I didn’t take risks, I never asked out the cheerleader I thought was cute, I never tried to get invited to the parties, I avoided anything requiring me to be uncomfortable. I spent 4 years trying to avoid anything that could possibly lead to embarrassment.
My least favorite class was always gym. I wasn’t opposed to physical activity, I was more opposed/afraid of not knowing what to do and looking like an idiot. Every time that they let (forced us against our wills) us play football I did everything that I could to be useless to the game (I weighed 145 lbs and don’t like pain). So I did everything that I could to stay covered, at all times, even by the slowest runner. I would run as slowly as possible, announce my attempts at breaking free (I’m breaking to the right in 5..4…3..2..1) and if ever free of coverage would look anywhere besides the quarterback (surely he wouldn’t throw the ball to the slow, skinny guy looking the wrong direction!)
The result? I never got laughed at for running the wrong direction, I never broke an arm, I never looked like an idiot, I never got hurt in gym. But I also never caught a football, attempted a basket, hit a home-run, or made a goal. Sure I avoided the negative stuff, but I also avoided any of the possibilities. I was so afraid of the “what if this happens” that I avoided all of the “what could happen”.
Thankfully High School is only a few years but the behaviors I learned there are still with me in life. We get one life, one chance to live out our story. This isn’t a pilot episode this is the real deal. I don’t want to spend my life being afraid of the risk, the embarrassment, the possibility of failure. I’ve learned a few things from my High School gym class that I’m trying to apply to my life now.
- Don’t play it safe. Anything worth having requires risk.
- Stop making excuses. Our excuses guarentee that we will not succeed. Your odds of succeeding are automatically increased by simply trying.
- You can’t always avoid the bruises. Everyone falls, everyone gets bumps and bruises, the scars are proof that you’re in the game.
If we apply these principles to our lives we open ourselves up to whole new possibilities. I don’t want to live my life the way that I survived High School gym class. I want to live fully engaged, the wind running through my hair. I know I will fail at times, I have no doubt that I will zig when I should zag, and I can promise that at 145 lbs I will get hurt. But by showing up ready to go for it I’ve already increased my odds of actually making it.
Your life deserves the risks!
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