Learn Through Frequent First Time Experiences

There is something about the first experience that we don’t forget. Whether it is the first trophy, kiss, gymnastics competition, 'The First Time', or when we first learn what it feels like to be hurt - from peers, co-workers, someone we love… it shapes who we are as individuals…  The first time we experience something, we are the most vulnerable; hopefully open to learn and embrace the opportunities the world has to offer.

I personally love to try new things, embrace challenges, meet new friends, and welcome opportunities to learn and grow. Here are two recent events that remind me of the significance of first experiences.

Being Vulnerable

During a recent business trip to California, I watched ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ starring Audrey Hepburn - a personal fashion icon of mine. I am refreshed by her carefree attitude, authenticity, and positive outlook on life. She and her neighbor take a day of adventure in NYC to experience a day of ‘firsts’ - being vulnerable to both new things and about one another.  Wondering why I don’t do this more frequently, I texted my boyfriend the idea as soon as I landed…

To my surprise, Friday of that week, he planned an evening of first experiences for me in NYC; running 5 miles of interval training on a Friday evening (I typically like to run in the mornings…), walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (I had only biked), dinner at a new restaurant, and the top of the Empire State Building. I truly felt like a little kid in a candy store with the world to explore and learn - and luckily the world is a big place.

 Times Square and Bryant Park from the top of The Empire State building

Times Square and Bryant Park from the top of The Empire State building

Tough or Rewarding - It Is Your Choice

I signed up for my first Tough Mudder a few weeks ago for Saturday, August 15th. I didn’t really know the details until I watched videos a few days later… I just expected some mud, monkey bars, ropes; however, the Electroshock Therapy 2.0 particularly worried me a bit. I was secretly hoping I would nail the Funkey Monkey 2.0 with my background as a certified child monkey.

 As you can see on my face, the electric shock was not my favorite. At least it was the last obstacle. It was just a really weird feeling since you could feel it throughout your entire body.

As you can see on my face, the electric shock was not my favorite. At least it was the last obstacle. It was just a really weird feeling since you could feel it throughout your entire body.

Fast forward to past our team carpool from Brooklyn, Def Leppard jam on the school bus ride to the location, and coordinated ‘warm-up area’, it was finally our turn to be TOUGH! When we arrived at the start line, we were told to kneel down for a pep talk from Sean Corvelle, the MIC guy for Tough Mudder. During his speech, he emphasized the power of teamwork and positivity, shared Tough Mudder stories, and highlighted the importance of trying new things. 

 I am pleased to report that I successfully completed the Funkey Monkey! The monkey bars were always my favorite on the playground. Even today, I become a kid again at any playground that has monkey bars or anything to climb.

I am pleased to report that I successfully completed the Funkey Monkey! The monkey bars were always my favorite on the playground. Even today, I become a kid again at any playground that has monkey bars or anything to climb.

Sean said, "Try to do something for the first time at least once a week."

Done! The Tough Mudder was not only a great first experience, I am now inspired to try take Sean’s advice.

Whether the first experience is tough or rewarding, I encourage you to be open and think positively. You have the choice to create your own adventure, learn from each challenge, and create endless opportunities for yourself and others.

I look forward to sharing new first experiences with you all. I would love to hear about your first experiences.

Yours Truly

The Pukka Panda