"Is she retarded?" That was the comment that playfully popped out of my husband’s mouth as we watched our at the time one year old walk up and down a set of 3 carpeted steps over and over and over again. Picture this: our vacation in Maui. Our cool new condo rental. Beaches, sunshine, pools. There was so much to explore! But what one of our twins was fixated on was those three little steps! Up. And Down. Up. And Down. She explored them with ease - her tiny but meaty legs completing one full cycle of the up and down movement in seconds. She completed the task and did it well. Thus, it was our instincts to think, “Well, now what? What’s next?”
But for her it wasn’t about completing the task. It was about repeating the task. And she did it with such gusto and focus, as if her life depended on it. This seemingly mundane task also entertained her. I watched her for about 10 minutes and then couldn’t take it. I had to pick her up and show her something new, something different to distract her because I suddenly had this idea that it was not a good idea that I let her keep doing it. Over and over. Up and down. I now see in that moment, I was the retarded one.
Cut to today - months later - at a near 21 months, I watch her repeat this puzzle game. Same system. She’s the Repeater. She'd complete the puzzle and unlike her get ‘er done Papa (my husband is "Daddy”) - who likes to do something, check it off and move on - she would do the puzzle again. Back to One. Go again. And yet again.
But it suddenly hit me: this girl knows what's up. It's her way of processing and man! It's a good way! Because while she honestly is just acting on her natural instincts - with no agenda - she is getting better and reinforcing the smart logic that the more you do anything - the better you get at it. So simple a concept: The more we do anything, the better we are going to get at it.
I’m in the fitness industry. I teach Group Fitness classes and I see a lot of folks hesitate to try a new class. When I invite them to try the latest fitness discovery we’ve got going on - I’ll hear this: “Uh, I dunno if I’ll be any good at it.” And well, yeah - since it’s your first time - you just might not be. But so what? If you’re open to the possibilities - you might like it enough that you’ll do it enough and if that happens - you will get good at it. Be a Repeater in all activities that matter to you. Try new things without giving any energy to the idea that you might suck at it. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is we stay open to the possibilities of life and have faith that the more we do it, the better we get. Live Love Large - Marc