Posts Tagged ‘learning from failure’

Barefooting Accomplishments Never Come without Struggle

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
The amazing accomplishments of any barefooter never come without struggle.  This accomplishment could be a new trick, a new medal, or a new Personal Best (PB).  Along the way to that goal, there will be failure.  And failure means falling, pain, and just plain painful falls.  No one in the sport can progress without taking a fall here or there.
I have taken plenty of brutal falls just like every other individual in the sport.  I’ve had marks to prove these falls and I still have scars to this day.  These scars have come from trying to succeed and trying to learn new tricks.  The best example was when I was trying to learn Back Toe-Holds.  I started out on barefoot shoe skis trying to learn the trick.  Time after time again, I fell and fell and fell–with my head getting whipped into the water.  I kept losing my balance, straightening my leg too much, or just spazzing out while trying to get my foot to the strap.

Eventually when I got it on shoe skis, I moved on to my bare feet.  I thought I knew the trick by now, but boy was I wrong.  There I was again, taking fall after fall after fall, waking up with the sore neck and headache.  To top that off, I started to get wounds on the top of my feet from falling.  Whenever I fell, the strap would rip off the top of my foot.  My feet started to bleed and to this day I have scars from those falls still.  Even worse than that, I popped blood vessels in my eyes from getting whipped back on the falls so many times.  I ended up with red eyes for the next month and a half.

Even after all of that, I managed to master the trick.  I have no idea how many falls I took trying to learn that trick, but they were definitely the most painful.  All those falls of course meant failure, yet that was the only way to learn how to do the trick right.  It’s just like Thomas Edison said about inventing the light bulb: “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.  Every great barefooter has failed doing a trick.  As long as they take something from these failures, they will become a great skiier.  As long as they learn from their mistakes, they can become even better.  Giving up is when true failure shows.  There is no greater failure than giving up.
No matter how painful the falls are, no matter what marks they leave, it’s best to get back up and try to understand what went wrong.  Of course when I look at those scars on my feet, I think, “Dang, those falls were not fun”.  Then I think again about how they show what I got through, the struggles I went through.  I know I can get through any obstacle now.  I know there will be even worse struggles to get past, and it may take time.
This is the same with every skier.  It all just depends on their mind frame.  Just keep getting back up, even if you’re discouraged, learn from the falls, and of course, Toes Up!
Collin Scott Barber