How long have you been in the sport? Did you just start? When was the last time you took a lesson on how to get better... at anything?
Recently, I took a trip with my family and we did something we've never, ever done before... we went snowboarding. Now, there are a few things you need to know about us before you read any further:
- I've wanted to do this for a long time, but never made the time.
- My kids had never been on this type of trip, it was their first time on a mountain/hill with snow.
- Mrs. DelMo was nervous as hell, but she would not allow her fears of falling to ruin her kid's experiences (at anything in life).
So, how did we go about doing this?
Jamie and I agreed if we were going to do this we were going to do it right, and doing it right means you get a coach, or an instructor to learn from someone who knows far more about what you want to achieve than you... and that is exactly what we did.
Our instructor was a 70 year old man with 20 years of experience (and he still competes regularly as an age-grouper in snowboarding!) as well as being a full-time attorney with a law degree from the University of Chicago and an Engineering degree from M.I.T. Yes, Coach Big Brain had our minds, hearts, and attention for 2 days and it was the best investment we could have made.
The Morning: We knew NOTHING about what we were going to be doing. He started with explaining the board, how to put our boots on, and how to strap in. From there, we (Me, Jamie, and our two children 9 and 11 years old) did everything they were teaching 5 year olds to do. We did basic movements on a 5 foot high extremely gentle slope. I busted my a** a few times. My kids loved it. My daughter said, "Dad, I've never seen you fail at anything, this is GREAT!"
NOTE: I've shielded my children from most of my failures for selfish reasons, I now realize how important it is for them to see Dad suck once in a while.
EGO CHECK: How many of you can put yourself in that position? Can you admit you don't know?
The Afternoon: We graduated from basically a driveway slope to a bit more. We learned how to slow the board, how to fall, and how to strap in/out hundreds of times. Again... Me, Mrs. DelMo and all little kids... there were NO ADULTS getting these lessons. We stuck it out. We fell a bunch. I took tons of pictures and videos. We encouraged each other, we celebrated the smallest of accomplishments and shook off catching an edge and kissing the snow. We then ate lunch and compared bruises. We went back out and fully submitted to our instructor and his vast experience. It wasn't easy. My kids would get upset when they fell. My wife had her doubts. I tried my best to take what he was teaching and implement. We fell again and again. Yet, we got up again and again.
As if osmosis had kicked in, everything our instructor was explaining to us during our first day, it all almost magically made sense during our second day. We went from the Bunny Slope, to an Easy Slope, and by the end of the day were crushing some difficult Moderate runs that would have been IMPOSSIBLE just a day before. The whole time we listened, we fell, we adjusted, we fell again, we asked questions, we face planted, we analyzed, and we did it as a family.
NOTE: My most memorable moment came during Day 1, when I was riding the 'magic carpet' to the middle of the learning slope with a 4 year old little girl. She looked at me with her goggles on and said, "Happy Valentine's Day!" I said the same thing back, she then asked "Do you want a hug?" (see photo above)
EGO CHECK: Can you subject yourself to people looking at you? Are you willing to submit yourself to being judged, then criticized on how to get better?
It had been quite some time since I was as vulnerable as getting on a snowboard for the first time. In fact, I can't quite remember doing something that I had no idea what I was getting myself into and submitting to the process…
… Oh wait, yeah, there's the whole DelMoSports thing.
Cool stuff happens when you're willing to give new experiences a chance and learn from those who've come before you. So, get over yourself, get a lesson, and learn a new technique that could help change the trajectory of your life, your business, or your family.