Newbness, yes a made-up word created by me. We all had to start somewhere, we don’t wake up perfect. Well some of my friends would beg to differ, but really no we all have to fall down a couple times before we get it right. In sport we are use to this, in fact we have a term for it, practice or training. In life it’s a little stickier.
In so many aspects of my life I have felt my newbness in the last year. It isn’t just sport either. We all know I jumped into athletics again, although I am new to so many aspects I had a base to fall back on. I have put in the work since an early age and set a foundation. So as scary as the unknown can be or stressful I have a deep chest to go back and dig deep into when it gets tough.
Recently, I have been pressing new limits in my athletics. I like to be good at something, the learning curve can be well honestly extremely painful. I hate not getting something right away and at the same time I hate quitting until I get it. Sunday, learning how to skate Nordic ski and the V1 technique was painful mentally. I know doing it properly makes the whole thing much easier, but at the same time my first reaction was to just muscle through it. I get frustrated in the learning process. When I was younger as frustration reached it’s peaks tears would swiftly follow. Thankfully, I have evolved enough to push past this emotion when frustration and stress apex, at least in public.
Today, I took on a part of the mountain that raises my anxiety level each time I enter, the park. I have been on skis since two, raced for about 10 years, and skied over 100 days a year for basically the last fourteen years. Many would agree I am more comfortable on my skis at times then my feet. I went out with one of our coaches and he taught me some basics to pass onto my kids. This was a place foreign to me but at the same time my time on skis made it easier to pick up. By my third try I could slide a box. I did grind a rail, not very pretty and took a good fall along the way, for which the bruise is already forming. But I did it. The rails honestly still scare the crap out of me and grinding the one I did felt like as much luck as anything else. But it was just another test in pulling me completely out of my comfort zone, testing me again on my newbness.
In work, I took on a new role this past year and as many organizations are it’s always evolving thus is my job. Each day is different which makes it both fun and at the same time stressful. Many days I find myself in completely new territory, learning as I go along. Sometimes, yearning for the light at the end of the tunnel. The thing is it always seems to come even in the darkest moments.
In the rest of my life all these new experiences are spilling over into all aspects of my life and relationships. As I was on the bike tonight I was able to think, clear my head and just relax. Funny, I find clarity on the bike when I am alone in the half dark gym moving fast but going nowhere. I find myself thinking about the newbness of it all. I find myself opening up more, being comfortable in my skin. Really for the first time I am starting to be able to express what I really want in life. Recently, I recalled part of a poem I heard years ago which seems fitting these days from the prolific Rainer Maria Rilke.
“For it is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope.
But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively from his own existence.”
So for me it’s time to start to embrace the newbness, relax into it. I am extremely hard on myself and it’s time to start to just feel the flow a little bit more. Time to fall down a couple times, but get back up and try it again.