Roll forward

Among the many life-saving skills a kayaker learns, a basic “wet exit” is Life-Saving Lesson #1. A wet exit gets you quickly out of a capsized kayak when you can’t roll back up. Being upside-down underwater, however, is outside of most people’s comfort zone. It’s disorienting, you can’t breathe, and water is going up your nose. Not fun.

When tipped over, a new paddler will instinctively try to slide out sideways in a wasted effort to get his head above water as soon as possible. This is all wrong. His legs get stuck in the cockpit, he struggles, and alarm sets in as air runs out.

Here’s the secret to a smooth and efficient wet exit: roll forward.

A simple forward somersault allows you to: 1) free your legs from the cockpit, 2) regain an upright position, and 3) easily kick to the surface where all that fabulous air is.

When you reach outside your comfort zone, keep rolling forward. Just as it’s no fun to paddle if you’re afraid to tip over the entire time, so is a life spent avoiding all risk of fulfillment and success.

Choose one thing every day this week that will stretch you. Stay with it, roll forward through it, and see where you go. Breathe in the success of having stretched your comfort zone.

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