Heidi Connal
Growth Through Failing (and failing.... and failing... and failing...)

2024 is my year of pushing my comfort zone. In January, I started skate skiing lessons and every Sunday for 1.5 hours, my ego takes one hit after another as I struggle to understand the nuanced skills of this complicated sport while also staying physically upright. It's understandably physically taxing, but I didn't realize how mentally taxing it would be as well.

The mental struggle bus

I've always been a straight-A student. In skate-skiing: I'm the last in the class. No. Really. I'm the last person in the group; struggle-bussing myself along the trails and up the hills. My skis are constantly sliding out, my poles are in weird positions, and my balance sends me smack onto the ground. The voices in my head get VERY LOUD about how I should stop. That I should give up and do what I'm good at. That I'm not built for this. I've been working very hard on quieting those voices and being softer to myself. More gracious. More forgiving that I'm human and that this is how we learn.

The other day I was on the trail, practicing my beginner skills back and forth on the flattest part of the trail. It was hard and messy, but this Stephen McCranie quote kept going through my mind: "The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried." It's a good reminder to me that - in order to master something - we have to fail over and over again. Here's to me failing a lot out on those trails!

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