I’m a coach. That’s how I make my living. I coach cartwheels and shit to pre-schoolers, and competitive gymnastics to girls and boys. I own my own gym, and I love what I do every day. Every now and then, my kids will hit a mental brick wall, or plateau. Often times this is accompanied with fear. Fear is a huge part of gymnastics. When one of my gymnasts does poorly on a math test, or answers a history question incorrectly, there is no real physical threat. If that same gymnast misses her hands when doing a back handspring on a 4 inch wide balance been that stands 4 feet off the floor, it’s going to hurt. A lot. So, as a coach, it’s my job to try to get in their heads, in a good way. I need to understand their thought process and help them rationalize their way through the fear, and on to success.
I’ve been using a specific technique recently with a group of girls that are having a hard time with cartwheels on the beam. I asked them, “What’s the hardest thing you can do?” Ask yourself that question. I bet it’s not an easy answer if you really read the question. My kids couldn’t really answer it either. “What’ the hardest thing you can DO?” Not, what’s the hardest thing you learned to do, or have ever done, but that you can DO.
I worded it specifically. If you can DO something is it hard? Is riding a bike hard? Not for me…anymore. It was hard to learn. I fell. A lot. But now, I can ride every time I try. If you can’t do something, it seems hard, until you’ve conquered it. Quitting is not that different.
I’ve been applying the lessons I’ve learned at KTC in my coaching recently, and vice versa. My success depends on my courage. I must have the courage to continue this quit. I see the new guys posting through their first two weeks. THAT takes a lot of courage. It sucks so bad back in the beginning. I am afraid of going through that again. I see guys with hundreds of days think they can have “just one”. I’m afraid of being that guy. I’m afraid the next time I go to the dentist, he’s going to find something. I’m afraid my quit came too late in my life to avoid cancer.
I am working through this fear every day. I do this one simple way: I post roll. Posting roll is my security blanket. It’s my lucky charm. It’s my voodoo. It’s where I draw my strength to face the coming day, knowing she is out there. You know who I’m talking about. She’s around the corner right now. She’s waiting in my truck. She’s at the drive through. She’s waving to me when I drive by the C-store. When I see her, or hear her whisper in my ear, I grab my security blanket that is KTC and I find the courage to say, “I am not afraid”.
So, what’s the hardest thing I can do? I can quit!