Tripping Up

When I was in gymnastics we had some really challenging tricks we did on every event. To most people the beam seemed the scariest. Doing flips on a 4 inch wide beam, 4 feet above the ground was the easiest to comprehend. But what I find funny is that why we were able to do this crazy tricks on the beam, we would trip walking on the floor and fall on the ground.

It was the joke of the gym. Gymnasts are some of the most clumsiest people I have ever met. I can’t tell you the sheer number of injuries I had, not from the hard stuff, but from walking. Thinking back I understand this a little more. Not why I tripped walking to another event but why I didn’t fall doing the hard stuff. I believe it was simply because I was prepared.

I was focused on what I needed to do when I needed to do it (during the trick). Walking from event to event, I wasn’t focused on walking as much as I was focused on getting to my destination. That was when I was looking to far ahead and not the next step.

It’s amazing to me the lessons we can learn from our past. IF we can get to a space of objectivity and grace. I used to call myself a dork, or dumb, or an idiot. But all that did was kick me when I was down. I never gave myself the opportunity to grow and learn from those mistakes. I created this unwritten rule that failure or tripping was not an option.

And this is why my therapist tells me, that I need to tell the little girl inside me to “shut up and back off”. I was mean to myself. I never allowed myself to have grace. Up until a year ago, I didn’t even really understand what that meant. Give yourself grace.

Do you know what the definition of the word grace is? Because I didn’t.

simple elegance or refinement of movement
Refinement of movement. Refinement… the improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes. Yup I looked that one up too. 
So if I’m understanding that correctly… grace is simply the improvement of movement. Allowing grace is allowing the room for improvement. Wow. How beautiful would that be? Giving yourself room to grow, or another way to look at it, is giving yourself the room to trip.
How different would life look like, if we all gave ourselves the room to make mistakes. What if we took it a step further and allowed others grace. How would the world be different?
These days I probably trip up at least once a day, but here’s the big change… I allow myself the room to do it. I seek the opportunities for tripping. Why? Because I believe there’s always room for improvement. In everything that I do. I’ve accepted that the “what” I do will never be perfect. As a gymnast I strived for the perfect score on the skills I performed. Impossible task, right and super subjective to who is judging me.
Today, I am my own judge but not of what I do, but by looking for the perfection in seeking growth and improvement. I no longer refer to myself as a dork or an idiot… because I am the perfect Ashley. But I know choose to celebrate my ability to trip up because that means I get to become a better version of myself. And that my friends is a beautiful thing to create.