Falling + Gravity

Success starts small.

Today (September 25th) I took my kids to the local outdoor skate park on the Beltline here in Atlanta (O4W). I was on my skateboard and they had their bikes. From start to finish, even with the rain, it was an incredibly enjoyable time. We all learned the hard way that falling will happen and that gravity and repetitive practice will make this happen. The nice thing about physics and skateboarding is that the falling becomes less frequent over time if you continue doing the same simple skill over and over. Practice isn’t supposed to be comfortable at the beginning. Falling rears its head when we decide to challenge our skills and try something new. The learning curve brings falling back into the equation until trials and body memory gain.

While the kids ride the skateboard on the bums, J decided to try standing once only to land right on her tush. It hurt, she was shaken, I held her close as she regained herself. Tears and fears aside, she got back up, dusted herself off and continued to play. The fall dissuaded her from trying to ride down the bowl again on her feet, yet she rode the board on her bum with G all over. The jumped on their bikes and owned the park for a good hour, making figure eights through the course. It was amazing to watch as their speed increased, the lines got a bit more daring, and G started to pop-a-wheelie off of a table top. Confidence was regained, practice in the bowl was had, lessons and body memory were learned. Success starts small.

J riding the skateboard in the bowl at the skate park.
(I just tried to import a video of J riding in the bowl on her bum but WordPress wants me to upgrade my plan. Nope. Here’s a link in the meantime.)

What we fail to recognize is that sometimes failure is too great to continue at times. Sometimes getting back on the horse is just too much. Getting back on a pony, a smaller horse, a tamer skateboard stance, or speaking to a smaller audience is what is needed. It’s my job as a father, adult, husband, and friend to recognize and support taking on smaller challenges in order to get things moving. Smaller, tamer, less fear producing steps are the catalyst to bigger and greater experience. Without them, we cannot achieve amazing things.

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