Take the first step

“There is always something you can do to improve yourself…the hardest part is taking the first step.”  Andrew Whitener has been an inspiration to me for many years as a coach and a trainer, and his presentation at theWell last Friday brought that to a whole new level.  theWell prototype had its first event on Friday, bringing together a bunch of community members to learn about ways to be healthier while also giving them an opportunity further engage with Sibley departments and services.  There were three presentations, lots of food, and plenty of questions and conversations.  New relationships were made and lots of feedback has been collected!

I was really inspired by Andrew’s presentation, especially that quote, because I felt it directly spoke to the spirit of the event, whether he knew it or not.  Prototyping is hard because you feel vulnerable putting out something that you know isn’t perfect.  It is tough to get used to the idea of putting something out there specifically to get a lot of feedback on how it might improve.  But, prototyping is the first step to making improvements—like that old cliché of “you never know until you try.” 

Workouts are a prime example of a tough first step.  The first workout after a prolonged break always kicks my butt, but I have learned to trust that if I take that step there will be additional opportunities and challenges ahead that I want to partake in.  After taking its first step, theWell is now tasked with figuring out where its next steps should go and what its next version should be.

During another part of his talk, Andrew reminded us to focus on our posture—squeeze your glutes, core tight, shoulders back—since it is so key in our day-to-day lives.  Adding my own piece (completely figurative and not physical) to his advice, I would also remind us to stay on the balls of our feet, be willing to lean forward, put our foot out, and see where our first step takes us.  The first may be the hardest, but it is well worth it.