Big day today. Today, my Little Boy overcame a major fear at the skate park. He's been wanting to "drop in", but he's had a major mental barrier about it. All the other kids there do it, and they all seem to say that it's easy. Its a basic trick for scooter riders. And he's wanted to do it...but something about standing at the edge and scooting down...well, it's kinda scary, and he was really avoiding it.
To see what I'm talking about - go check out this video of a kid dropping in. (This is NOT our video - just some video I found on Youtube)
So today, he went to the skate park with his best friend. It was his friend's first time at a skate park with his scooter, and he dropped in and said it was easy. So the pressure began. We kept telling Little Boy to try it, and he wanted to...but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Another kid there was also telling him that it was no big deal, and that he could do it.
Now - if you've seen the video, and think that you don't blame him for being scared...I totally understand. But Little Boy LOVES his scooter, and he's good on it. We KNEW he could do this easily...but he had some fear that had convinced him that he could not do it. Again, this is a basic move for scooter kids.
And here's the thing. I struggle with fear...and living with fear SUCKS. I'm kinda wishing right now that I had blogged about the struggles I've had with fear and anxiety. I've been wanting to, but haven't been able to get everything into words. So you see, watching my son allow fear to win? No, it cannot happen. I never want him to miss out on anything because of fear. So this little lesson of dropping in...well, it goes beyond the skate park. Its a life lesson.
Sadly, after a lot of stressing about it, he decided to not even try. So we walked to the car and were ready to head home.
But in the car, he decided he wanted to try it. So there we went, back to the skate area. By this time, the other kids were noticing what was going on. They were watching him stand at the edge, look down and stress out. He'd ride to the edge...look down...ride away. Then he'd ride to the edge again...look down...and ride away. Over and over and over.
Funny thing is, the other boys started telling him, "You can do it! Just do it!"
Finally, this older kid - he was maybe 15-years old - had been watching him, and he asked him,
"What are you trying to do, dude? Drop in?".
Little Boy said yes.
Older Kid walked over to him and said, "Just put your board here, your foot here, and just go. Its really easier than you're thinking".
I didn't hear what Little Boy told him, but I could tell by the hand movements, that he was telling him that he was afraid he was gonna go head first.
Older kid told him, "Just bend your legs and lean back. You can do it, really. You just have to commit".
You just have to commit.
I'm also kinda wishing that I had already written the post that has been in my head for a few months. About the skate park. There are so many life lessons to be found in the fearlessness that those kids possess! They are willing to tumble and fall and get hurt so that they can experience that "cool trick". They push past the fear. And as I've mentioned my battle with fear...pushing past the fear is major. One of the things that I've thought about as I've watched them, is that some things need full commitment. I like to do things slow and cautious so I can back-out or quit when things get hairy. But I've discovered that some things don't lend themselves to "slow and cautious". Some things require full commitment. And if we wait until we're fearless...we'll never do anything. Forget about Nike...sometimes its God who says, "just do it". If we're ever going to do cool tricks in life, or in our spiritual walk...we're just gonna have to " do it scared". Just Commit.
So there he stood, on the edge...thinking way too hard and long about dropping in. He asked his best friend to come do it so he could watch. He had him do it two more times. Everyone around him kept telling him that he could do it.
It seemed like forever.
I was behind him praying that God would meet him where he was and give him just a little dose of the courage he needed.
We cheered! (or was I the only one clapping and jumping? Hmmm...not sure now that I look back...)
Later, he would say that he heard everyone behind him go "yay!..." And then, "Oooooh!" Because the funny thing is, he "dropped in" perfectly, but when he turned to ride back around, he crashed and fell. Isn't that the way life goes...we dread doing something because we're scared, and then we end up falling doing something we've done a million times!
And that's another life lesson. Sometimes you will fall. That's the risk. I always say jokingly (sort of) that I like guarantees in life. But that's not the way life is designed. There are no guarantees. You will fall. As Brett Michaels said, "its not if life will knock you down, its when and how. And its definitely about how you roll with it".
Fear, you lost today. And for the rest of his life, Little Boy will remember what its like to do something even though he's afraid. And that sometimes all we're lacking is the commitment to "do it scared".