I have just been put to shame. 

This weekend, I taught at Ladies Rock Camp in Madison. Women came into camp on Friday not knowing how to play an instrument. By Sunday night, they learned to play, formed a band, wrote a song, and performed it live in front of a screaming crowd of people in a great big venue. 

It takes guts. 

I thought a lot about bravery over the last three days. After watching these women, it dawned on me that true bravery isn’t measured by how hard a task is, but by how vulnerable a person is when they set out to tackle it.

Most of the women were nervous on Friday; they started out so far away from where they wanted to go. But they powered through their fears and showed me what it looks like to be scared…and then do the thing anyway.  

And man, did they do their thing. What a bunch of inspiring people. 

I can't tell you how often I've let my nerves stop me in my tracks; I almost always turn back in the face of fear. But it's damn hard to grow inside a comfort zone.  Growth comes from taking risks and choosing to persevere through the discomfort.  The super-heroic women I taught these weekend experienced shaky knees and sweaty hands and cracking voices, and they saw it as a challenge they were up for.  They looked at fear not as a threat, but as something they could overcome, as an opportunity to improve. 

I learned so much more than I taught this weekend. I’m revved up. I’ll be back to work at my building at 8 am tomorrow morning, ready to take on the world. Reader, whatever you’re up to, I hope you too can find a way to show your fears that you’re up to the challenge. Rock this life OUT.  See you next Sunday. –Em

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