In the introduction to Do Something Different, we explained that we will have a featured article each month about doing something different, to honor of the way entrepreneurs must be outside of the box people.
This is our first article in the Do Something Different series and we decided to start with something that some people may think small but if they really understand it, will realize that it has a lifetime of significance.
Right now we are in the throes of summer, and moms are either in the midst of a barrage of activities for our children, or are kicking back and watching them play in the sun. I have a mixture of both planned for my family.
Last week my son had skateboard camp. Unfortunately for him, he inherited all of my athletic IN-ability. Skateboarding was something I did for all of 10 seconds before landing on my face in gravel. My son bought a skateboard at a garage sale last summer and tried it out for about 4 minutes longer than I had. The board then sat in our closet.
While the skateboard community has a lot of negative things that have been associated with it, there are a lot of positives; including the skill it actually takes to balance, propel forward and navigate obstacles; not including doing any tricks.
I decided to sign my son up for skateboarding lessons, because I thought this would be a good opportunity for him to grow in his physical ability, as well as learn in a positive environment.
The first day he spent more time on his board going down ramps on his stomach or his bottom, than standing on it with his feet. It was very clear to me that he was nervous and even possibly afraid. He didn’t really want to continue the camp.
I remember that the pain from falling and the fear of it happening again kept me from over getting back on a skateboard. I realized I did not want these things to hold back my son the way they did for me. True, this was just a skateboard, but if it applied here then it would apply to other areas of his life. So I did something different: I donned a helmet and got back on the board. I initially got on the board at the top of a small ramp and my son told me I had not spent enough time balancing on the board to go down the ramp yet. After eyeing the one foot slope for a minute, I had to agree.
I practiced standing, and then moving forward. The more I did it, the more confident I was with it. So eventually I got back to the top of the ramp, and though my son was still not quite convinced I was ready, I wiggled my body to shift the skateboard forward the one inch I needed to start the decent. Low and behold, I did it. I felt victorious! I felt like a conqueror! So much so in fact, that I did it several more times without falling and making an even bigger fool of myself than I already had. It’s apparently a rare sighting of a mom in a skate park, on a board. I know why.
The next day my son went to camp and I saw him with his feet on the board more than any other body part. He did not become a pro-skateboarder or even magically fall in love with the sport, but he did have a change of heart attitude and decided to try. He changed from wanting to give up, to accepting that it took time, practice and patience to learn hard things. He learned that he better not try to quit, or his mom might show up with a helmet on!
Do Something Different