A while back, a student was struggling to figure out the basic movements on cross-country skis. Eventually, we figured out that the boot they were using was simply too big and it caused them to have their ankles continuously buckle.

We tried tightening the boots and it helped for a while. As we were wrapping up, this student was really struggling to finish. It had been a difficult guiding day with the weather (below freezing temps, fierce wind, rain and snow) and we all wanted to get back to the van.

The voice in my head began to complain, “Why can’t she just do it.” In that moment, I had lost my empathy. This student wasn’t complaining, was trying their best, was thrown into the deep end of the pool on a difficult day to learn how to ski.

Me complaining in my head wasn’t going to speed this student up. So how was it helping?

It wasn’t.

The voice in our head is selfish. It doesn’t care what others want. Bargaining with it doesn’t do anything to make the situation better.

Fortunately, I was able to check myself and we helped this student finish in their own way. Little did that student know on that day, they were the ones that changed me.