Stumble and Fall

Posted Dec 30 2011, 1:12 pm in , , , , , , , , , , ,

Over the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my family in the mountains enjoying some winter fun.

As a family, we don’t spend a lot of time ice skating throughout the year. Because neither of the kids play hockey (I know, that may disqualify us as Canadians) and the outside rinks at home are almost always in a state of thaw, we tend to limit our ice time to skating on the lake when we’re in the mountains at the cabin.

A few years ago, when we taught them (more accurately, when my husband taught them) there was a lot of falling. Sliding, tripping, crashing, you name it, a lot of time was spent sitting on the ice. But not once did they give up. At no point, did they say, “Forget this, I’m putting my boots on.” They continued to stand up, fall down, stand up, slide forward slightly, fall down…and…repeat.

The same thing went for skiing. We put the kids in their first lesson when they were seven. They pointed their ski tips together in a pizza pie, they fell. They got up. They did it again. And again.

The family on top of the mountain. (Syd really isn't quite this tiny, the perspective is a little strange here.)

I remember telling my daughter, “You aren’t really trying if you aren’t falling.” Meaning, you aren’t pushing yourself to be better, if you don’t fall a few times. She took that advice to heart, and even turns it back on me a when I finish the day without any wipe outs to my credit.

The more I think about this advice, the more it makes sense to me, in all aspects of living. It’s easy to glide through life on auto pilot, not trying anything new, or challenging yourself. But it’s when you push yourself harder, go further, try something different, and get outside of your comfort zone that all of a sudden things get tricky. It’s not always going to be easy. You are going to fall sometimes. The key is to get back up. Because you aren’t really trying if you don’t stumble and fall a few times along the way.

What makes you ‘get back up’?


My new book, Drawing Free, was a lesson in persistence for me. I struggled a lot with this book over the years, but there was something about it that wouldn’t let me give up. I ‘fell’ a lot during the writing process. I’d like to think that meant I was ‘really trying’.  Regardless, I ‘got back up’.  I hope you check it out.

Drawing Free is available now on Amazon. And if you have a Nook, Kobo, or other type of E-Reader, it will be available through Smashwords only until January 1st.

Available NOW!



5 responses to “Stumble and Fall”

  1. Lesann says:

    This may be the best advice for sensible learning I’ve heard yet. There’s a good outlook to start the new year with…

  2. You aren’t really trying unless you’re falling – that deserves to be on a bumper sticker. 🙂

    What makes me get back up? Humor. I just figure no badly how hard I fall at some point I can learn from it. Once I learn, then I can laugh and move on stronger and wiser.

    Congrats on your pushing yourself with your book.

  3. Great advice, Elena. Thanks.

  4. Such a GREAT post and fantastic analogy. It’s so true! If we risk nothing ever, we never grow beyond the here and now. And not growing means not truly living!
    Congrats on the release of Drawing Free – sounds AWESOME and so happy for you! Here’s to a ton of success!

  5. […] Elena Aitken (who just released her new book Drawing Free…eeeekeee…congrats Elena) did a wonderful post on how life is about pushing yourself outside the comfort zone to reach your dreams. […]

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