May 12, 2016

When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

Lately, I’ve been doing a ton of things for the first time. And after a 28-year career of successfully doing the same things, a LOT of times, being a stone-cold beginner is a mind-boggling, humbling, ego-shattering experience.


Last night I was summarily schooled in the art of beginning… by my teenage son.



A couple of weeks ago, Christian, who’s 14, decided to try out for a club soccer team in San Diego. He’s an athletic kid. Able-bodied with lots of natural potential, but not much experience at soccer.


There were more than 200 kids in his age group at the tryouts, which were two nights long. And when he finished, he told me he thought he was in the bottom 2% of the kids on the field. It was intensely competitive.


So Tuesday night, when he got an email from a coach who offered him a spot on a team, he was thrilled. I was thrilled that he was thrilled. And last night I drove him to his first practice.


I parked the car while Christian went to introduce himself to the coach (or not). And when I walked up, I felt immediately intimidated.


The boys were huge. Much bigger than Christian.

They were dressed in team gear. They had clearly played together for some time.

And they were good. Fancy footwork. Speed. Technical skill. Mondo experience. Obvious relationships with the coach.


I stood on the sidelines having an “Oh, shit” moment.


Christian did not. He jumped straight in and began the one-on-one drills the coach called out. And for about 25 minutes he had the most amazing time being absolutely trounced – and LOVING it – by his teammates. It was as though he had no comprehension of the disparity in skill levels. As though he didn’t notice that each time he got the ball, he was out-manned, out-played, and out-maneuvered. He was hustling, scrambling… and having a total blast.


Every time he sprinted to the back of the line, post-drill, he shot me a little smile and a thumbs-up.


I was flummoxed, but cautiously optimistic.


Maybe this is the way it works for all the new kids, I thought. Maybe they just throw them onto teams based on potential, and they level up.


Seemed like a hard way to go. But, what did I know?


At about 30 minutes in, the coach very gently tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, young man? Where is your mother?”


Christian pointed at me.


The coach walked back to me and whispered, “Did you receive a call from me last night? Coach Ken?”


And then: the a-ha moment.


Christian hadn’t introduced himself to the coach. He’d just jumped in. And begun playing with the wrong team. These boys were 16 and 17. And they were a premier team.


Christian had been invited to play for the team across the field – a developmental team for 14 and 15 year olds.


Confusion sorted, he shot off with a big laugh and absolutely zero embarrassment.


That’s when the coach said, “I’d love to have him on my team. When it’s time.” Christian had given an impressive little show of gumption, guts and enthusiasm.


And here’s what I learned from it:


  1. It’s enough to want to play the game. We get so bound up wanting to be accepted, acknowledged, and rewarded. We want to succeed. But Christian? He just wanted to play. He wanted a chance to be in the game. He was running on pure adrenalin and wonder. There was no time – or need – for him to stop and question himself. It was fun. And he was down for fun. He showed up for fun. (When was the last time I’d shown up for the fun of it?)
  2. Sometimes we just need permission. He’d gotten the call. He was on the team. Why question it? A higher power gave him permission to be there, and that’s all he needed. He was in the game, baby. (How many invitations had I ignored? How many times had I doubted the higher power who’d put me in the game?)
  3. He didn’t stop to compare his beginning to someone else’s middle. As I stood on the sidelines, a million questions running through my head, Christian asked none. There were no comparisons or second-guessing. Just hustle. Just drive. Just an innocent, wiry energy that overrode the need to compare, and set the pace for the entire experience. (How many times had I squashed that energy in myself? Crushed my own innocence with the weight of comparison?)


In the car on the way home, we laughed about the mix-up. And Christian taught me the biggest lesson of the night about being a beginner:


“I can already tell, Mom. This is going to be SO MUCH FUN.”


When was the last time you did something for the first time?

When was the last time you were a beginner in the game, and didn’t give a shit?

When you got permission from a higher power, and just ran with it?

When you threw aside comparisons, judgments and the need to succeed, and just felt it?

When was the last time you said, “This is going to be SO MUCH FUN?”

And when will be the next time?


Share with me, in the comments below.



Share: / / /

22 thoughts on “When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

  1. Jay says:

    Amazing logic hand down? Your kid is awesome! Great lesson thanks for sharing?

    1. Julia Hook says:

      Thanks, Jay. I think my kid is pretty awesome, too. And I think you’re awesome for reading along and for jumping in. Have and amazing day!!

  2. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of things for the first time, and each time I get that same exhilarating feeling. Then, I laugh to myself in wonderment that I actually got took a step forward and got uncomfortable. I realize that I need to keep this feeling and it’s actually addicting. My company is still under a year old and I wish I would have started when I was much younger. I’m learning to welcome the uncomfortable feeling and starting to also crave it. Great read!

    1. Julia Hook says:

      Hey, Brendon. It’s an amazing feeling, isn’t it? One of the things that happens so frequently with entrepreneurs is that we thrive so heavily on the feeling that we abandon things mid-way, so we can keep starting anew!! So when you feel the itch, it’s good to have a way to scratch it, without scrapping the business! Thanks for being here and for reading along. And I hope you KILL IT in your new business.

  3. Allen says:

    a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

    1. Julia Hook says:

      It sure does. And sometimes it begins with a suitcase full of bullshit fears and preconceived notions we need to leave behind…

  4. Karen Ehlers says:

    To be super brave, fearless and all that energy is awesome and a great reminder. Wide eyed and bushy tailed, we can take a page from Christian – for sure!

    1. Julia Hook says:

      Thanks, Karen. I love that wide-eyed kid.

  5. mary says:

    What a great lesson that we need to be reminded of! Thank you for sharing & reminding us we have to just have fun sometimes.

    1. Julia Hook says:

      You’re so welcome, Mary. Thanks for reading along!!

  6. Tony Leanza says:

    Absolutely fun story. Oh to have such enthusiasm again.

    1. Julia Hook says:

      You’re never too old for a little fun, Tony!

  7. Deb says:

    This REALLY made me smile. Go, Christian! And yes, we all need that potion bottled up and ready to spray on ourselves!

    1. Julia Hook says:

      Hey, Deb. I love that you’re smiling. When I figure a way to bottle and sell what he has, you’ll be the first on my list of potential customers!!

  8. Trevor Olson says:

    When did sports become complicated? And more importantly, why?

    “It was fun. And he was down for fun. He showed up for fun.”

    Thanks for the simple, yet real lessons. I love the way you bring simplicity back to complicated matters.

    Great read!

    1. Julia Hook says:

      Thanks, Trevor! You’re the master at adding fun to the game.

  9. Julie says:

    When was the last time you were a beginner in the game, and didn’t give a shit?
    NOW! Right NOW! Whether I’m seasoned or not at entrepreneurship, I don’t give a ship, it gives to me, and I am READY to receive all the learning I can muster. For the fun of it!

    When you got permission from a higher power, and just ran with it?
    NOW! I’ve got FULL permission in the form of INspiration and I am running with it no matter what!

    When you threw aside comparisons, judgments and the need to succeed, and just felt it?
    NOW! This is ME throwing any comparison aside and standing tall in what I know in my bones to be TRUE to ME! Because it’s my birthright!

    When was the last time you said, “This is going to be SO MUCH FUN?”
    Hahahahaaaaa RIGHT NOW!! THIS IS SOOOOO much FUN!!! And the Funner it gets, the FUNNer it gets!

    And when will be the next time?
    NOW! this IS so much FUN and I’m SO down for MORE of that please!

    Thanks Christian for your amazing, unapologetic, genuine expression of living so FULLY! And thanks to your amazing mom for showing up AGAIN to tell it through her insightful lens!

    1. Julia Hook says:

      You’re amazing. Thanks for sharing. Your energy is so contagious!

  10. Renae says:

    Yay! I love that attitude. I wish that I had that attitude at a younger age. But, at 50 I am learning to live all in and loving it. Blessings to you, Julia.

    1. Julia Hook says:

      Renae — if you’ve got that attitude at 50, then you’ve got it all nailed, my friend. I LOVE that you’re all in. You’re a powerhouse. Packed with fun.

  11. Elle says:

    I’m so grateful; a few weeks ago a new friend told me he knew from the time he met me that I was a free spirit. Which almost had me burst into tears because it had been true of me, but I’d really lost myself in limitations and became depressed for a few months. I have no idea how he knewthis of me, but it sat with me for about a week and then I made the commitment to myself to let go of limitations and expectations (at least as well as I’m aware), get back to being me rather than worrying about whether I was following the guidelines and suggestions of all those surrounding me (this is how it all started, I began giving a crap about others’ opinions!). And just in case I want to forget this “being me” (which often involves throwing caution to the wind and not worrying or caring about OPOs) the Universe is sending constant reminders. Thanks for sharing JuJu, this was an excellent story!

    1. Julia Hook says:

      Hey, Elle. As it turns out, limitations and guidelines don’t get us very far, do they? I’m glad you’re throwing caution to the wind – and listening to what the universe has to tell you. Knock ’em dead, soul sister!! Cheers to you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.