The cool crisp air gently tickled my face as I sped across the ice on the Rideau Canal. I've always loved to skate. Gliding from foot to foot, using the weight of your body to keep you firmly grounded and the sway of your arms to direct you from side to side - kind of like a dance, with more rigour and purpose - you know, to keep yourself from faceplanting on ice!
I laughed at the thought of my smaller self back in grade two when I put on my first pair of skates during grade 2 gym class. I remember leaving the ice about an hour later with purple bruises all over my legs. I just could not stand up on my skates for the life of me! The gym teacher spent most of the time trying to get me off my bum! It was not a nice day for me, especially looking around at my friends skating away like experts. Until the next gym class, I had this burning desire to try again and prove to myself that I could ‘master’ the art of gliding on ice. And I did. Not well at first, but I kept going at it for the entire gym class and left that day with a new sense of purpose and satisfaction deep inside.
For me, there are some essential truths that I learned and keep learning from my time on the ice that are so painstakingly relevant to starting a business (and living life in general I'd say!):
You will fall. And you will always fall no matter how good you are. The important thing is that you get right back up again and continue on.
It’s harder than you think. Especially when you first get started.
Practice, practice, practice. There’s no other way to get better than that hard earned technique, time and patience. And lots of bandaids and ice packs along the way.
No matter how good you may think you are, there is always room to push your limits, try something new, or take a chance at something different.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has their own unique history and are forging their own paths meant for them. So are you.
Most importantly, no matter what obstacles stand in your way, do what makes you feel alive.