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Failing to Fall
I want to pass along a story that was shared with me.
It is a story of a young girl that immigrated to Canada. And she was determined to become a real Canadian. And everyone knows that to become a real Canadian the first step has absolutely nothing to do with immigration policies, and everything to do with turning your sentences into questions, eh? And of course when you master that skill, the second thing you have to do to become a Canadian is, of course, to take up ice hockey.
So, she joins a league. She is determined to be the best hockey player ever. She practices so hard, never misses a practice trying to get the drills just right. However, three weeks into practices her coach takes her aside and says “Amina, you are just not falling down.” Amina looks back at her coach and says “I know, trying to be the best hockey player ever…” And her coach says No Amina, practice is for finding your edge. You need to know that exact place between you’re standing up on your skate blades and you’re laying face down on the ice. You need to know where that edge is so you can push into every play, every shot, every corner, as hard as you can and how do you know where that edge is if you never fall?
So Amina takes her coach’s advice, and starts falling all over the place. And I love when she told this part of the story because her eyes got so wide, and she says, “And I got so much better so quickly after that!” It’s amazing how much our learning is accelerated when we push ourselves to the edge of our capacities.
In effect, failure is just another word for practice.