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Embracing a Nurse Log Role

Last week was full of firsts!

  • Forest

  • Fitness

  • Facebook Live

And I’ll start with the last one… first.

After filming 85 weekly videos (but always after several “takes” just to make sure I’m not forgetting an important part of my message and… to decrease the likelihood of looking like I’m bumbling around) I went live this week.

I’ve hesitated because… well…. I feared I’d end up being one of those people who spend the first three minutes talking but not really saying anything…wasting people’s time.

But after watching numerous people in the “leadership space” step up and speak off the cuff I decided it was my time.

Why now… after all these months?

More on that in a minute.

My other first fell in the fitness realm.

I’d been ignoring “it” for… months; the plateau.

I knew it was happening because I could simultaneously think about the next call I needed to make, what I wanted to tweak in my speech or what I was making for dinner without even thinking about the lunge or push-up I was doing.

My morning workout routine had become exactly that… a routine that required very little from me.

Enter “A Little Obsessed” (warm-up for the 80 Day Obsession).

Let me just say… even on day one I knew I had upped the ante because my brain was scrambling to keep up with what my flailing legs and arms were supposed to be doing.

And I’ve been feeling the results…. every day since.

My final first?

A forest; more specifically a nurse log.

A client mentioned his daughter had studied nurse logs in school and on his family’s recent trip to the Pacific Northwest she had seen one.

I wondered, “Have I been living under a log?”

It was the first time I had heard that term.

He explained and I followed up with some research on my own.

Apparently, a nurse log plays an important role in a healthy forest….and it has to do with the idea of “constant renewal.”

When a tree falls, that log provides a place for growth that is different from the rest of the forest floor.

I’ll circle back to why that matters in a minute. (Click hear If you’d like to read more!)

So why all the focus on these firsts?

Well, have you ever heard (or said), “Do as I say but not as I do?”

I’ve never really liked that.

And the thought of being that…. makes my stomach hurt.

As I stood in front of 3000+ leadership devotees a couple of weeks ago I ended my message with the importance of allowing the wisdom of these words to sink in… “The goal of practice is to always keep our beginner’s mind.”

And can I just say?

It is a LOT easier to SAY that than it is to DO that.


Because I like to feel competent, confident and capable.

And I felt anything BUT that as I:

  • fumbled trying to find the “FINISH” button while doing my first Facebook live post (click if you’d like to see it)

  • stumbled attempting to use sliders and “loops” for the first time in my workout (sorry… NO picture for this one)

  • mumbled about having no clue what a “nurse log” is in front of a client

But… in each of those situations, I also recognized that I was LIVING the truth of my message…

“I should celebrate that awkward feeling of doing something new. Because when I can do that my view of needing to practice can shift…. from “Oh NO!” to “This is how I grow!”

Interestingly… it was after sharing my story of feeling awkward while “practice dating” over the age of 40 that people stopped me and even sought me out to say that my words had impacted them in a powerfully positive way.

Some were women who through tears said they have traveled that same road.

Others were men who expressed their gratitude that I was willing to share.

Knowing that my awkward truth resonated with others and gave them hope… was a priceless gift.

I read that nurse logs increase the diversity of habitats for the new generation of trees.

And that made me think… if being open and vulnerable about my own fumbling firsts can provide a way for hope to grow in another person, I’ll gladly embrace the role of being a “human nurse log.”

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