Never Again Will I Miss Fun in the Face of Fear
Steve Wozniak probably isn’t long for the Dancing With The Stars world, but I think his amazingly upbeat attitude sends the world a much-needed message. Living in a world focused on overachievement - where I see parents freaking out over academically rigorous preschools (whatever the hell that means) and drilling their kids with extracurriculars - there was something so pure and refreshing about The Woz’s joy last night. Yes, he’s an uber achiever professionally, but there’s something to be said for the manner in which he is embracing something that clearly does not come naturally or particularly well to him. At one point, in the face of the judges’ criticism, Wozniak said something along the lines of, “How can this feel disappointing? I get to dance with Karina Smirnoff. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!”
That simple statement stopped me in my tracks. Because for as much as I bristle against the overachieving tide and encourage Laurel (and myself!) to try new things for fun – not mired with worries of perfection or what it means for the future – I know that deep down I still have some work to do there. For example, a few weeks ago I had the ridiculously fun opportunity to sit down and interview Olympic figure skaters Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, after which I was invited to hit the ice for their skating clinic.
I did, in fact, have my skates in the car (I’ve only been out a handful of times with Laurel, but we had such a blast that I bought a pair) but I was paralyzed by the prospect of getting on the ice. I rationalized to myself that I didn’t want to cut into the clinic time of the others at the rink, and to some degree that was true, but likely the bigger issue was that I didn’t want to make a complete ass of myself in front of Tanith and Ben. Or that I didn’t want to be the worst skater amidst the (um, 3-6 year old) beginners group.
Undoubtedly, that was my once in a lifetime opportunity to skate with Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto and I missed the fun in the face of fear. It makes my brain hurt thinking about how idiotic that is! But thanks to gleaning wisdom from Steve's attitude, if provided a similar opportunity (or anything else fun and possibly embarrassing, for that matter) in the future, I won’t hold back.