I remember the first time I lost my air sense. I was at an adult gymnastics class on the trampoline. I went to do a full twisting back flip - a trick I have done hundreds of times in my life. I bounced up, got upside down, and went blank. Luckily my basic survival mechanism is still in tact, so i tucked into a little ball and waited, not sure which way was up or which way was down, or what part of my body was going to land first. It was the longest second of my life.
I made it out alive (obviously), and without a scratch or a tweak. But since then, I don’t take my air sense for granted.
At my current age of forty-two I have a legitimate fear for my physical safety that keeps me from doing anything more advanced than a basic flip on a trampoline, and I am happy to abide. I spent almost twenty years of my life doing all kinds of flips: double back flips, double twisting flips, flips on balance beams, flips off of diving boards. I might have even done a standing back flip in the middle of a crowded bar in exchange for a shot of alcohol. (Good times!) It’s been real, but I’m older and a bit wiser now, with two knees that barely work and a job that would be difficult to do with a massive head injury. So my days of crazy tricks are behind me and that’s OK.
Because I get enough thrills as an entrepreneur.
That feeling I had when I lost my air sense at the adult gymnastics class - when I couldn’t tell the sea for the sky - well, that’s a common occurrence these days. The fear is real. The only difference is in the risk. Instead of risking my physical safety, I am risking failure… and success.
A safe landing place is no guarantee, and every day I need to remind myself to stay in the discomfort and uncertainty that comes with creating something new.
It’s OK to not know. It’s OK to feel lost. It’s OK to keep flipping through the air not sure if I’m going to land on my feet or my face. It’s OK to not have any idea when the next failure, or success, will occur.
So instead of tucking into a little ball (in front of Netflix with some ice cream) in search of safety, I am choosing to embrace the spinning, thrilling, whirlwind adventure of this entrepreneurial life.