My partner for the ropes course was a cautious woman. She never fell.
I, on the other hand, plunged — literally falling three times — quickly through each element.
She cautiously walked across the wobbly steps. I just — boom-boom-boom — hastily crossed the bridge.
She edged her way across the first tightrope. I grabbed each successive support rope and was across in no time.
On the second tightrope, her cautious approach proved better than mine. I fell (caught by my harness, of course) and bore a bruise on my thigh for weeks afterward as a reminder that it’s important to be a little patient.
And so we made our way through the ropes course, each cheering the other on. I recognized her fear. She recognized my foolish haste.
“I wish I had done the Tarzan rope,” she told me later. It was the one element she had skipped.
“I wish I had taken my time on more of it,” I confessed, thinking specifically of a net that I should have crawled across instead of trying to just run across it. It was another of my falls.
The element I keep thinking about, though, was one she helped me cross. It was a rope bridge. At this point, she had already seen me fall multiple times.
“Take your time,” she said, as I climbed down onto it.
“One step at a time,” she said, as she saw me looking too far ahead.
“Step on the knots,” she said, and that advice made all the difference.
I went knot-to-knot across the whole thing, one step at a time, focused not on the far goal, but on where I needed to place my foot next.
Sometimes life can feel so overwhelming.
I don’t know about you, but my life is chock full o’ knots. Some days I want to run past them all and pretend they don’t exist. Some days I just want to sit and do nothing.
But today I will tackle one knot.
And tomorrow another.
Step on the knots. I can do that.