Monday, November 1, 2010


I spent hours training in a gymnastics gym before I ever discovered swim-bike-run. I prefer the clear-cut you won because you were fastest, not because a judge thought you were perfect approach to competition. However, I still really enjoy watching gymnastics.

This past weekend I was watching the World Championship uneven bar finals while on my trainer. The top two Chinese gymnasts in the finals had medals that were theirs to lose - that's how much above the others their skill set is. They both fell spectacularly, opening the door to the podium.

Next up was a Russian who performs one of the hardest moves on the bars. Basically nobody else can come close. She fell.

Mid-set on my trainer I was thinking WHAT is this?! It's the World Championships and every girl is cracking. And then I realized exactly what it was. Each of these girls made it to the World Championships because they are the very best in the world. They became the best by taking risks along the way. Rather than doing safe routines, they throw in extra flips and twists. The added degree of difficulty makes them the best, and also increases the risk of failing on any given day.

For some reason watching three of the world's best gymnasts fall apart was completely inspiring to me. It made me realize again how stepping out of your comfort zone - whether it be in sport, work, or everyday life can be so very important. And necessary if you want to be great. Don't ever be afraid to fail.