A few years ago a friend invited me to play disc golf with a group of his disc golfing buddies. I like trying new things and I like throwing a Frisbee around in a park with friends, even though I am not very good at it.

I accidentally learned about disc golfing many years prior. I thought I was being helpful by picking up a Frisbee in a public park for two guys who seemed to be playing together, only to find out that they were throwing their Frisbee towards a target instead of to each other. The objective of the game – as I found out that day – is to hit each target with the fewest number of throws of the Frisbee. That incident had piqued my curiosity for disc golf. When my friend asked me to join him and his buddies for a round of disc golf, I happily agreed.

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Vancouver and we could see the mountains from the disc golf course. I had a great time throwing the Frisbee. Of course, my throws went all over the place and it took me many throws to reach the first target.

I didn’t worry about my performance. For me it was all about having fun, enjoying the outdoors and learning something new. However, my friend was worried that I might feel intimidated by the skilled players around me. He reassured me several times that I was doing a great job. He taught me a few techniques that helped me direct the Frisbee better and throw it a bit further. I was excited about these tiny steps of improvement and eager to learn more. Towards the end of game, I shared the upside of being a beginner with him: “I get to throw the disc many more times than all of you guys.” He smiled.

In our final round, we were playing across a children’s playground. My throwing skills were still fairly rough. I didn’t manage to throw beyond the playground, instead my disc landed in a little playhouse in the middle of the playground. I threw up my arms and exclaimed “score”, next I ran to the playhouse, climbed upstairs to get my disc and threw it from there. My friend followed me and we slid down the slide together. What a hoot!

Next time you try something new, enjoy your rookie experience while it lasts:

  • Come to the activity with a willingness to fail grandly.
  • Find at least one thing that’s good about being new at this activity.
  • Acknowledge your learning.
  • Define your own success, e.g. having a good time, being outdoors, meeting new people, or laughing out loud.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back for trying something new and stepping out of your comfort zone.
  • I will never forget my first day of disc golfing. It was such a fun experience! Whenever I am asked to try something new, I think of my rookie disc golfing experience. It gives me the courage to say YES to trying new things.

    What is your favourite memory trying something new? What would you most like to try next?

    Author's Bio: 

    Julia James, CPCC, PCC, M.Sc. is a multi-lingual certified life coach, award-winning author and international speaker. She helps busy professionals around the world achieve balance in their lives through individual life coaching and workshops. Author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution and the audio CD series, Guided Mini-Retreats for Busy People, she provides tools to manage stress effectively and to relax and re-energize quickly. Julia has been featured on Joy TV, CBC News, as well as in The Globe & Mail, Glow Magazine, BC Business Magazine and The Vancouver Observer.