Podcast: The run-up and the execution

I’m going to preface today’s podcast with this note. I’m on a bit of a social media break and inspiration holiday at the moment, but I can’t and won’t turn my eyes from what is happening in the world. Specifically in Haiti and Afghanistan. This isn’t so I can prove that I’m doing something, it’s simply because I know how I feel during this moments, so I wanted to offer these words. When the world is heavy, it can feel crushing when you don’t have the answers or resource to hold it up. Small efforts and actions feel futile. But know that they are not. Keep doing the things that you can. When things feel too big for me to handle or to hold, instead of reaching towards despair, I now reach for these words: small things, big heart.


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I was typing up my answers to an interview I’m giving for Blood + Milk magazine yesterday, and it made me think about gymnastics. I believe there are lessons everywhere, so today, allow me to explain how I made the connection for today’s remindHer.

One of the questions posed in the interview related to a theme that runs across my platform, which is “though I doubt, I do.” It asked, ‘What do you think are some of the greatest barriers to women leaning into self-trust and harnessing that to show up for their lives with fullness?’

Part of my answer referenced the cycle that I observe, which shows the rampant effects that perfectionism has place upon us. When we have things that we want to launch, build, or start… I don’t know about you, but I research. I research and research and research a bit more. And there’s something to be said for that. I like to be informed. But that’s where the issue begins to show itself, because when is enough, enough? When have you learnt enough to start?

There’s that phrase, ‘learn on the job.’ In the past, I’ve not been very good at that. I’ve wanted to know 99.9% before I start the job, and at least 80% to make me even contemplate going for it in the first place.

And so there are these cycles of procrastinating until it’s perfect, so that we can start… and then it never being perfect, so not starting.

We expect ourselves to just go. Just do. Jump in the deep end and get going.

I always find myself completely bowled over when I see gymnasts carrying out floor routines. I’ve gone down a fair few rabbit holes watching Simone Biles in particular do some of the most extraordinary things in her craft. And as we’ve just had the Olympics in Japan, she came to mind when I pondered that question about the greatest barriers to women showing up for their lives with fullness.

Why? Because what is the one thing that must happen in order for her or any gymnast to carry out the feats demanded of their bodies and the elements of the moves? They require a run up.

The run up is an essential part of the execution.

Biles doesn’t just launch into a triple double from where she stands. Though I’m sure she could still deliver magnificence from being at a standstill, the true craft, skill and power of any floor gymnast is shown when they give themselves a bit of a run-up. It lets them pick up speed, gain momentum to get the heights required for some of the moves.

Notice how they go right up to the edge of the square, to make the most of every bit of allotted space for the run-up? With it sometimes taking up half of the space of the whole mat in order to execute a move. They don’t berate that preparation time. They make the most of it. It is part and parcel of it all.

I know it’s not a direct correlation, but I think you know what I mean. I’m thinking of that run-up as the prep time. The bit where I’m not perfect, but I’ve started, I’m making moves and gaining momentum.

Look at what can come when we don’t expect perfection from the get-go.

If Simone Biles gets a run-up, so do we.

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