When I was in high school I was a pole vaulter.
After our first official track meet, me and the other three pole vaulters realized something pretty cool.
And that was few other high schools in our region had pole vaulters.
Which meant when we’d show up to meets, everybody else would have a tough competition.
Except for us. We’d automatically get first, second and third.
Which meant that during regular practice, we’d goof off.
Not like the coach could motivate us by saying, “C’mon you guys, we’ve got a tough match coming up!”
One of the ways we’d goof off is balance the poles on our chins.
They were too heavy to balance on our noses, we’d use our chins instead.
Instead of practicing our form, or doing upper body strengthening drills, we’d compete to see who could balance the pole on their chin the longest.
Funny thing was (not really funny when you understand the physics) was that balancing a pole on your chin is much easier than balancing a pencil on your nose.
Because the pole is heavy and long, it shifts its weight slowly. So you can move around underneath it, keeping it balanced.
Compared to a pencil, which can fall over a lot more quickly than you can compensate for a shift in balance.
Most everything you’ll do requires balance. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find something that DOESN’T require balance.
Life is one gigantic interaction between people, who are filled with always changing interdependent variables.
Which is why some people do EVERYTHING to avoid participating.
Sitting on the couch watching TV is one way. ZERO balance required. Except if you’re sitting there with a big bowl of chips on your belly, you’ve got to be careful not to tip it over as you shovel that fried saltiness into your face.
But as soon as you step outside, you’re going to need to balance. Walking even.
Something that took you YEARS to learn, you now do without thought.
When you have a conversation, you balance your ideas with their ideas.
When you start an exercise program, you’ve got to balance too much with too little.
When you try something new, you’ve got to balance expectations. Expect easy perfection, or imminent doom, and you’ll be wrong.
Every single person who has created greatness has experienced setbacks. MASSIVE ones.
But it wouldn’t be a worthy path unless you HAD to be bested by obstacle along the way. Not all of them, but a lot of them.
Even the greatest running backs of all time get knocked on the ass more often than not.
Rarely do they break through giant holes and sprint for the endzone.
Why should YOUR life be any different?
Be bold. Expect challenges. Blast through them when you can. Pick yourself up and have another go when you don’t.