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You are never too old to play and learn new things

Playing is freedom to explore, problem solve, create, laugh and so so much more. Add learning new things; it's challenging, satisfying and fun. The saying ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ has been something I’ve really enjoyed proving wrong time and again.

A little while ago I decided I wanted to learn one of the things that I secretly wished I could do, but hadn’t had the chance to try, skateboarding. I decided it was time to face the fear and give it a go. I had absolutely no idea what to do, how to start, I was scared, but still wanted to try it. I know I’m not always the best at working things like that out for myself so I enlisted the help of a skateboard instructor. I had the lesson, had a blast, got excited, got myself a board and then chickened out again. A year and half on, at 45, I was self isolating and restricted to my own postcode (except for essential travel) so I pulled out the skateboard and started skating…badly, but I was doing it.

Fast forward 3 months and I decided it was time for a second lesson. Plans for the lesson didn’t quite turn out with the skate park being super busy so we headed indoors to a half pipe. I’m a beginner who can only just manage the flat and I’m suddenly in a half pipe. Cue wide eyed fear, but willing to give it a try with LOTS of help (ie my instructor quite literally held my hands until I could fly solo). I had such a good time and a grin from ear to ear when I pulled off even the smallest thing that previously seemed impossible. Best feeling ever!!

From a neuroscience perspective we continue to be able to learn new things as we age however it simply takes more effort and a little longer than when we were young metaphorical sponges. When you learn something new you begin the cycle of not knowing what to do, you need to concentrate and be conscious with what you’re doing. Then it gradually becomes easier and a more unconscious practice until you get to the point you forget that at one time you didn’t know how to do it. The whole process simply takes longer as we age.

Plus let’s not forget the fear factor we bring to the table as adults that we didn’t have as kids. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of looking silly. Fear of not knowing what to do. Fear of not being able to work it out. Fear of not being able to do the thing you set out to do and letting yourself down. Kids don’t think about those things, they simply do it.

I have those fears and when it comes to play and adventure I’m pretty darn good at staring those fears down with one of the ridiculous faces I pull and saying ‘watch me’. My friend Jess calls me a ‘Champion of fear’. When I decide I want to try something, to simply experience it I figure I’ve got nothing to lose except the regret of not trying it. I wear the helmets, padding, wrist guards and all of the things and am unphased by how silly I might look because I’m too busy having fun to be worried about looking silly and dang it I’m not missing out on that fun.

Did you know I work with people who want to do the juicy, nourishing work taking their lives to another level and have a bit of fun on the way? Is there something that you deep down want to do, but it looks too hard, too scary, impossible, you can totally do it, in your own unique way. Perhaps you desire feeling excited about what you can do each day, to be present and see the fun in the every day, even the most mundane, the big emotions, the hard stuff. It is possible to do things differently - things might be ok, but you feel like there's something missing, something more for you and you can't quite put your finger on it or your not sure how to move forward.

If you’d like to have a conversation with me about how I may be able to support you please send me a message or book in for a complimentary virtual walk and chat.

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