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Jul 18, 2013

Life is Hard

Sometimes life is like when my friend tried to teach me how to drive stick...
or when someone 11 years younger than me tried to teach me how to dive...
or when my friend tried to teach me how to cartwheel.

You think, No. This thing you are trying to teach me to do is ACTUALLY impossible. I cannot do it. Or nothing in the world could actually be worth doing this. Why on earth would you be asking me to position my body head-first into something solid? 

Tuesday I went to kickboxing and tried to kick something at face-level. I was so determined to hit the pad that was being held up by this kid a foot shorter than me that I ended up flipping myself onto my back--really intimidating to the theoretical opponent.

But this is life, as people who barely know English sometimes say.

Sometimes it's good to throw yourself head-first into the water. Sometimes doing things that are hard are actually good for us (have you tried running for more than five minutes lately? Ugh, it's such the worst, but hurts so good).

But maybe it's also okay to accept that we can't kick someone in the face before we learn to kick them in the stomach. Baby steps.

My mom loves to say, "Life is hard, but you can do hard things." Sometimes I believe her. Sometimes I don't. But I actually think the very purpose of life is to do hard things and experience these mini triumphs.

Sometimes, you need someone to push you into the water. Or you need that handsome yet cynical kickboxing instructor to hold your hand (literally) so you don't fall over while you do a roundhouse kick. Or you need your film professor to tell you 26 drafts just isn't enough when it could be better.

Years ago a smart kid at BYU made a film called Butterflies which was about a kid who is a little shy. At one point he gets on a roller coaster and he says, "I don't want to do this!" but it's too late, because he's already on the thing and it's going up. I find myself often in that same position squeezing my eyes shut and saying to myself, "I don't want to do this!" about things that I know I have to finish whether I want to or not. Like when I had to go get shots or when I have to wake up at 7am.

But hard things are always worth. So go do something hard. If nothing else it's a thrill.

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