Or, what I learned this summer in my coaching practice and in my life...
Practice may not make it perfect, but it does make it easier. I've spent a lot of time this summer working out, writing, relaxing, hiking, playing racquetball, and I can tell you I've had a lot of practice, but I'm certainly not perfect at any of them.
But there's a lot to be said for the art of practice, something I've often found myself impatient with over the years. I want to be good, damn it. I want to master what I'm working on. I don't want to spend my life always practicing. Boring, boring, boring.
Or is it?
I have climbed two "14ers" this summer. (A fourteener is a mountain whose peak is over 14,000 feet high.) Before I did those, I practiced on a number of other mountains, including Mount Audubon, a 13,000 foot peak. I can't say that climbing either of the 14ers was a walk in the park. They were a challenge, physically demanding, especially from the lack of air at altitude. I got snowed on, sunburned, hailed on, rained on, and battered to bits by the wind. But I did it. And I did it better than I did two summers ago because I've been working out with a trainer. What have we been doing? Practicing endurance and practicing stability, week after week.
I'll admit to playing a little racquetball. And I'll cop to being fairly bad at it. But I show up every week and I hit the ball (and since my partner is quite an expert), I get a lot of exercise.
And I've been building my coaching practice, and I've been writing.
But there's something to repetition. When I started writing after vacation, I wasn't as good at sitting still for long periods of time. I wasn't as disciplined.
Yet there's a skill set we tap into when we do something repetitively: muscle memory. That's part of the reason we can get on a bike after so long and it comes back to us.
Other things we love are the same, things like hiking, like racquetball, like writing. By doing things, we remember how to do them, and they become easier. We can tap into what we already know in order to repeat our success.
What is it that you can make easier in your life, with a little practice?