My stepson is a 9-year old Shaun White in training. Living in Minnesota, winter sports activities abound, and this is his second winter with the board. He moved up from the "fun" team last year to the junior team this year. The junior team practices more often, participates in competitions, and is the all-around training ground for the young, serious, snowboard practitioner.
When we were on our way to practice tonight, he randomly shared with me that as the time approaches to go out on the hills, he gets a little "funny" feeling in his stomach. He said he's noticed that it happens every week, and although he didn't really understand why or what it was, his coach told him it was a totally normal feeling.
I asked him to tell me more about this funny stomach feeling, and he said it didn't feel like "throw-up sick". (I nodded solemnly.) But, he explained, the jumps the team was working on this year just scared him a little bit more. Added into that was the fact that he is one of the youngest members of the team, and has less experience than the majority of his teammates.
Two and a half hours later, when I picked him up from practice, he couldn't wait to tell me about a new move he had learned that, when done correctly, achieves twice as much air as the other jump they had been working on (3 feet vs. 6 feet). I heard about every nuance of the technique and what he needed to do to execute it flawlessly.
When I asked him about that funny stomach feeling, he told me, "It went away after I did a few jumps. It always does."
The conversation left me wondering about my own hang-ups and fears of the unknown.
I'm quite familiar with that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach just before getting ready to do something that pushes me out of my comfort zone. I'm sure we all are. I get freaked out. It makes me want to stop immediately, rush home, and pull the covers over my head.
But if my 9-year can push through it, well then, so can I. Because once I do, I get rewarded with that feeling of the metaphorical 6-feet of air, and it is quite a rush. It becomes addictive, and is always well worth dealing with the anxiety leading up to it.
So I'm actively on the lookout for my next big jump- funny stomach feeling be damned.
What's the next big jump you're building up to?
(photo credit alexindigo)