This morning as I was driving to work I was thinking about one of the Olympic ads about a cross country skier I had seen last night. While I was watching the commercial, it made me think back to when I had that kind of determination as a child. I had found an old pair of roller skates at my Grandmother’s house, they were way to big at the time but I put them on anyway and began teaching myself how to skate in her living room. I can’t tell you how many times I fell down and got back up. The thing that stuck with me was how determined I was to stay upright on those skates and to be able to use them without having to hold onto things. I remember doing this for days and days, for hours at a time until I finally found myself skating without any trouble at all.
My mind then went to how fearless I once was. The road I lived on as a child was a steep hill with a level part right where my house was and then back to a steep hill again. I would skate up to the top of the hill and without consideration of traffic (thankfully back then there wasn’t much) I would then skate down the hill. I wish I knew how fast I was going.
At this point you are probably wondering what all this has to do with instinct, well I’m getting to that. The instinct comes from how I skated down that steep hill. Without anyone showing me how to do it, without seeing anyone else ever do it, somehow I just knew the best way to skate down the hill. By some magical inner knowing once I got to the top of the hill, I would squat down low as I made my way down the first steep section of the road, once the road started leveling out I would stand up and then as I approached the next steep section I would squat down again and ready myself to skate into an empty lot across the street from my house. Just before turning my body to glide into the empty lot I pushed one foot forward to keep me balanced as I transitioned from pavement to the grassy lot. This kept me balanced and shifted my weight to the back so that I wouldn’t go head over heels into the grass on my face. No one ever told me this and no one ever showed me and I had never seen it done. Something inside me just automatically knew what to do and what might happen if I didn’t do this. As a kid I never gave any thought to it. All I knew is how much fun it was to coast down that hill at full speed ahead.
Determination taught me how to skate, instinct kept me from killing myself.
When we stop over-thinking, when we let go and trust our inner knowing, when we let go of our fears… we find the tools to do anything we wish to accomplish.