It was late 1981, and I was a skinny nine year old kid, with freckles, red hair and poor coordination, when I lived the first of many of my eat shit moments.
The sun was already baking the asphalt in that tiny country town school yard when I stepped out to face my Armageddon.
Today was bike skills day at school, where the Education Department of day had decided it was in our interest to learn how to navigate traffic in our one horse, population 1,000, town.
It was hot. Australian hot. And, a trickle of sweat rolled down my back.
But it was nothing like the heat that I was about to feel.
Because these were the days before political correctness and every player gets a prize for trying. These were the days when you were expected to just know. And, just do.
‘Righto, grab a bike and line up!’ shouted the teacher. Already hassled with the effort of juggling a big mixed level class with a hangover, Mr Smith had no patience or time for softness.
‘Now listen to what these instructors say and follow the bike course around the basketball court, and shut up you fella’s in the back’ Smith bellowed.
The terror gripped me. Like a physical wave it washed over and momentarily blacked out the sun.
As the youngest in my school group, and a farmers kid, I was about to be exposed as ‘The Kid that Couldn’t Ride a Bike’.
Somehow the choice of pretending to be able to ride a bike was better than putting up my hand and exposing the real truth. I couldn’t ride a bike.
So there I am. The skinny, unco, kid with Mum’s home job, hair cut. I dragged out a bike and lined up.
Of course, I had no idea that simply jumping on a bike and pedalling wasn’t going to cut it.
As I wobbled my way from the start line, the sun and the sweat intensified. And, so did the quiet. Gradually, the big noisy, messy gaggle of kids and teachers got real quiet.
You know that quiet before the giggling starts.
Somehow, with red hot shame, I made it around the course and I don’t remember much else except for that sense of complete isolation.
Fast forward about 40 years and I now define it as an eat shit moment, not for the terror and how I felt at the time, but for that moment when a choice is made.
A choice to go away, get real quiet and eat shit.
Metaphorically, in my world, to eat shit is to simply to take the feedback from the universe and use it to empower myself, my learning and my growth.
Of course, that Christmas there was a bike under the tree and I learnt how to ride, but what I really learnt was the power of being different.
Standing out in a country school, because I was the only kid that couldn’t ride a bike meant that, in a heart beat, I became the kid who was different.
And, I am sure that each and everyone of us has had a moment like that.
The power of that moment, though, is what you do with it. You can let being different define you.
In my world, you can eat some shit and let the moment create you.
If you are keen for change, but don’t know where to start, I am always up for a chat.
Living your best life starts the day you make a choice to take the scary, creative, and audacious road.
I have spent a lifetime making choices that take me down the scary road. It has been bumpy, scary and the best thing I have ever down.
I have also spent a lifetime solving problems. Business problems. People problems. And, of course property problems.
So if you are up for a no obligation, free chat, flick me a line and we can find a space in our worlds where the stars align and we can chat.
Yes! I would love a chat!
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