I miss the gym. The older I get, the more I realize that, while I was a mediocre gymnast at best, the hours that I spent in the gym were priceless. It toughened me up, for sure. Here are a few lessons that I keep with me in my day-to-day life.

1. If you want something, you must risk. You will never get anyplace except exactly where you are now without putting yourself out there.

2. If you want something, you must work. Risk is worthless without some hope or trust that you can maybe make it. You’ll never make it without hours, perhaps years of sweat and training — both physical and mental.

3. If you want something, you will experience pain. Yep. Nobody gets everything the first time. When you risk, you will (sometimes) fall. Sometimes, you will fall many times. It will hurt.

Notice that I started each part of the list with the phrase if you want something. If nothing else, I think that my time as a gymnast taught me to want to grow. I think that this has strongly influenced the way I teach and the way I coach. (I tend to push pretty hard.) Most of us, I’ve learned, are actually capable of a great deal more than we imagine.

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