Last month, some colleagues, friends, and I went rock climbing. Among us were someone who used to work at a rock climbing gym, three people who regularly climbed, and three people who “hadn’t been in forever.” I belonged to the last category.
We were all abuzz with excitement as we stepped into our harnesses. Then, my fellow “hadn’t been in forever” friend said something along the lines of, “It’s been a while since I’ve been really bad at something.”
We all laughed and I was reminded of another quote I’ve seen passed around the internet but, at the time of writing, cannot for the life of me find an author to attribute it to. It goes, “Be brave enough to suck at something new.”
The other day someone asked me if I liked volleyball. I said I didn't, which surprised the other person. Then, I sheepishly admitted that I don’t like volleyball because I’m not good at volleyball. But what if I weren’t timid around the sport and instead took a chance? What if I wasn’t afraid to look silly flailing about the court?
That night, we rock climbed and bouldered and laughed until tears sprung into our eyes. And, myself and the other two “hadn’t been” friends all sincerely agreed that we should do it again sometime.
I felt especially grateful for my friends that night. For the seasoned pros who taught and explained everything with such patience, support, and understanding. And for my fellow newbies who weren’t afraid to “be really bad at something” together. Perhaps it is true that the heart of our growth lies just outside our comfort zones.