Get Naked In Public

by Deborah Hall

  • Literary (Genre) Other
  • Literary (Length) Short (under 1000 words)

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
...Albert Einstein

Picture this. I’m at the tender young age of 15, standing in the middle of the gymnasium floor waiting for the music to start so I can begin my gymnastics floor routine. Spectators are everywhere!

I feel it in my bones that I have the most spectacular routine EVER. I am aiming to get first or second so I can move on to the Provincials. It’s an explosive routine right out of the gate and I am excited to be doing it. I know I am “on”. Any second and I will be on my way to the routine of my lifetime!

And, then it happened.

Silence. I mean pin-dropping silence! There was no music! No...wait. There it was. But, something was wrong. The music to my floor routine began, but in the middle of the sequence!

All hell broke loose. There was pandemonium everywhere! Coaches, judges, officials all scurrying about. I am standing in the middle of the floor in utter disbelief and shock.

And, then I did this...

I run. Off the floor. Right into my father who, for some unknown reason, happens to be at my gym meet. I look at him with alligator tears and am just about to collapse in a heap at his feet, when he takes me by the shoulders, looks me dead straight in the eye and says, “You get back out there. Remember WHO you are. You are a member of this family and that means something. You get out there and do that floor routine with or without music! Now, take a couple of deep breaths, calm yourself, and get back out there.”

Just like that. Can you imagine? So, I reluctantly pick myself up, and walk back out to the middle of that floor and wait for what seems like forever.

I am told, in the end, that there is no music and that I am to do my routine without it. Which I do. Singing the melody in my head while my heart performed the best routine I have choreographed. EVER. I finish it. It is flawless except for one thing. No music.

I end up coming in third, but I leave feeling as if I won first place.

To this very day, whenever I think about it...I think about the courage that it took to go back out there. I was standing naked in public. Vulnerable. Fragile.

And, it makes me smile. I think about my father in his quiet, yet commanding way, telling me to take deep breaths so I would be calm.

And, I think about how very proud of myself I was because I had proved without a doubt, what I was capable of.

It wasn’t until years later, that I really came to understand how that one small incident...that extremely powerless moment in time when I felt naked in public, helped shape my life.

Vulnerability I have come to have a great respect for. It is our most accurate measurement of courage.

You see my intuitive mind took over that day. My rational mind would have never allowed that to happen.

So, this week, if you're feeling stuck...Get naked in public. Be vulnerable. Let your heart be brave. The world is waiting for You!

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Other Works by Deborah Hall

Why Being Outside Your Comfort Zone is Awesome For You

How To Restore Your Sanity By Jumping On a Unicorn

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