You will fall… It will hurt!

We just returned from a marvelous vacation with six beautiful grandchildren.  On the way to the lake, my youngest granddaughter was filled with excitement and with some fear and trepidation looking forward to the opportunity she would have to learn to water ski.

When the day arrived, she drew me close and whispered, “Will I fall?” 

I looked into those blue eyes and whispered back, “Yes, you will fall.” She thought about it for a moment and then said, “Will it hurt?” I couldn’t lie.  “Yes, it might hurt a little…… but, I promise it will be worth it. Falling and a little hurting is the way you learn to water ski.”


Then the words I wanted to hear.  “I can do it!”

And she did.

On the way home, I started thinking of the two fears that keep us from exploring the adventures and opportunities that God makes available every day:

Will I fall…..?  read fail?

Will it hurt….?

Come closer, I have the answers to those questions.  Yes you will fall…. and yes it might hurt. But the only way you can avoid falling and pain is to never get out of bed, to never try anything.

Falling and pain are entry fees for trying, the foundation for learning, and gateways to achievement.

Look at the smile on this face.

You will fall, it will hurt, and you will live!   Go for it!


  1. Heck yeah it hit a nerve. I remember failing in front of roughly 1,500 -2,000 people the year I chaired a community egg hunt – it was aweful. AND it was that fall that put me in your classes, that sent me to CCA, and gave me the nerve to try comedy – because I rationalized if I can be brave enough to tell jokes to people, I can be brave to do anything. (SMILE) it’s working.. granted – I am naturally funny, just not always on purpose.

    I think it’s awesome that your granddaughter asked those questions at her age, instead of at 42ish..

    Awesome post. Thanks Ken.

  2. Thanks Ken… yes, this struck a chord.

    I’m sitting at my laptop editing the chapters for my first book proposal. Honestly? I clicked Facebook to avoid the fear for a while.. the fear of falling and hurting if I do. I’m afraid to take the next step.

    Then, DANG. Here you are. Reminding me its a part of the process of learning.

    Message well said and well received.

    PS is this puppy sells- you get a signed copy:) PPS tell your grand daughter the internets think she’s brave and beautiful, we’re proud of her for trying! and :YAY! She did it!

    1. Author

      What do you mean, “if this puppy sells” I want a signed copy either way! (-:

  3. Ken,

    This also reminds us that children need to be able to trust those who care for them. Even if it means telling them something that COULD be bad.

    My one experience with waterskiing however I don’t intend on repeating. I henceforth recall it as “The Day of the 5 Gallon Enema” I went up… I came down … and declined trying a second time. I’m sure I don’t need to describe why.

  4. Love this, and how true it is. Fears get in the way of so many things in life. So many people spend their entire lives just dreaming and never doing. Kinda sad.

    This also brings back memories of my learning to water ski when I was a little girl. Good times!

  5. Awesome!! What a great way to teach your granddaughter a valuable lesson in life. My guess is it will carry over in other areas of her life. My dad taught me when I was a child about cutting up chicken. After showing me how to cut it up, he said, “Jeannie, just go at it like you know what you’re doing.” I have used that many times in my life. It’s amazing how we use those life lessons in more ways than any of us imagine. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story!!

    1. Author

      The chickens probably don’t appreciate the lesson as much as we do. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Oh yeah that hit a nerve… Can’t avoid the falling and failing in life… Just get back up and try again.

  7. You are a great Grandfather. You validated her fears, and then reassured her. Too often we don’t do that. Meaning to be kind, we lie to the person, or child, and end up making it worse. It’s better to face and acknowledge the fear.
    If we do that, it usually isn’t as bad as we feared, and it doesn’t scare us anymore.

    1. Author

      Walter, actually I won’t be a “great” grandfather until one of these children has children… (-; But, Thanks for your comment. I want to create a positive legacy for these children.

  8. Yes! I so can remember my 1st time water skiing, and you are so right, it does hurt, a little, but it is soooo much fun!
    And like being God’s daughter, it hurt tremendously when I 1st believed, and repented! But the joy afterwards was a million times better than the pain before!
    Keep doing what you are doing Ken!
    Thanks for the smiles!

  9. Wow, so very true! I have so struggled with this in my life, but I have also seen the Lord breaking me out and moving me on. Falling and hurting are all part of becoming and leaning….

  10. AMEN! Thank-you for your insight. The awesome realization is that when we fall, we have an amazing pair of hands that will either catch us or pick us back up. Those hands belong to the One who created us. And He can take of the hurt as well. May the Almighty continue to use and bless you as you strive to bring Him and His Word to those you come into contact with! Come back to Fargo ND!!!!! Blessings, Cyndi

  11. Ken,
    Love this photo!! Reminds me of my first time water skiing. I did fall, it did hurt I never did it again. Laugh about it still. What a story…
    Bemidji MN
    Laura Smith

  12. Ken,
    saw this quote/poem and it fits the falling story.
    “forget risk and take the fall, if it’s what you want then it’s worth the fall”
    Love your blogs and enjoy hearing your ideas and thoughts.

  13. GREAT illustration and beautiful grandchild…that little face and her beautiful blue eyes…Grandchildren are the best…
    our daughter Ann just had her 2nd little girl-Emersyn Rose (we call her Emmy) to join Elliana and they both have blue eyes, too! Blessings to you and Diane, Ken…Julie for Tom/Julie

  14. Thanks, Ken! These are just the words I need to encourage Allison. You may remember that she set out for Los Angeles with stars in her eyes and a love for people that has become a bit cynical and tarnished by her LA surroundings.

    She loves it there and says she’s not ready to give up, but some days I hear such disappointment in her voice that it breaks my heart.

    BTW, Bill is doing very well. He just recently returned from a trip to Germany, and he and I are leaving this weekend for a visit to LA through the Fourth! (We just celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary!)

    1. Author

      Martha, I hope she finds some encouragement. She is such a talented person. I remember when she was just a tiny little girl.

  15. Ken,
    thank you for sharing this experience with your grand daughter. The message was very timely for me and my friend as we try new adventures, some not so successful and some quite painful. But we are trusting God to use them all to make us into the people He created us to be.
    Looking forward to seeing you soon at SMCC.

  16. I just bought a boat and got my 27 year old son up on water skis and he had the same look on his face. When he falls it hurts a lot more. Life’s lesson… learn as much as you can while you are young. You go girl.

  17. She’s a sweetie! Give her my congrats for a challenge faced and met – she is a winner!

  18. Wow…I so needed to be reminded of this! Takes me back to my childhood – I too learned to waterski at about your granddaughter’s age and yep, water feels almost solid when you hit it at speed! Like a lot of other things, the bigger you are, the harder the water feels when you fall – a lot like life – the bigger the risk you take the bigger the impact if it goes pear-shaped and you fail/fall. I’m waiting on spinal surgery at present and in constant pain. It’s put a stop to a great deal in my life and it’s a daily challenge to get out of bed – it HURTS just to accomplish that. BUT, as much as I’m tempted to just let the pain limit my trying, it’s not an option…Other people have this pain with no chance of corrective surgery…there is always someone worse off. I can be bed-ridden or brave. Brave hurts more, but living life ‘in spite of’ is always better. Sometimes the pain is distracting, like the day I wore my jeans back-to-front (I thought my body shape had changed or something) – yep wore ’em all day the wrong way round and didn’t notice til I took a shower at the end of the day! But hey, it made me laugh at myself and my family paid out on me for weeks…d’you reckon Jesus laughed too? Thanks Ken. Bless you.

  19. Thank you sooo much Ken!

    What a GREAT time for me to read this. The Lord put on my heart a month or so ago to open my house to ladies for Bible Study. A place for ladies that are thirsting for more of God, who want to learn and REALLY let Him change them by what He teaches us – yet, I kept putting it off. I argued, “No one wants to do that every week.” “No one will come.” But just this past Tuesday, I saw some friends talking on Facebook that confirmed to me there ARE ladies that want this. So, I jumped in and told them I was going to do it. I think I was basically asking the same questions but, as my Pastor gently reminded me, even if no one DID come, it’s my OBEDIENCE that the Lord is wanting.

    Thank you for allowing God to use you as yet another confirmation that I am doing the right thing. I had just sat down to start doing some researching on “thirsting” when I read your newsletter. I will open the doors of my home to the ladies for the first time on Thursday, July 15 (the day after my 51st birthday) – what better birthday present, right?

    Keep pressing on…..

      1. Author


        Thank you for your comment. The dates of “The Summit” are October 18 – 20. The dates of our Dynamic Communicators Workshop are October 25 – 28 in Beaver Creek Colorado. I am not sure exactly which one you are interested in.
        “The Summit” is specifically designed to teach speakers who want to build a career, how to market their skills.
        “The Dynamic Communicators Workshop” is a different workshop designed to help men and women become better speakers.
        Brand new websites for both of these will be up and running mid July and we will notify you when those websites are active. HOWEVER, because registration is limited and because registrations are already coming in, I recommend you contact our event coordinator, Joy Groblebe with any additional questions and to assure your registration. I have notified her of your interest and I have asked her to contact you. I have also included her contact information below.
        Personally, I would love to meet you at either of those conferences. Please talk to Joy. She is the most qualified person to answer all of your questions. If I can be of further help, do not hesitate to contact me.
        Joy Groblebe, our event coordinator, is looking forward to speaking with you. She can be reached at 303-325-6964 or [email protected].

  20. My best water skiing attempt was me going 14ft without the ski’s, but at least I was on top of the water.
    When I got divorced and found myself living on my own I knew I needed to cling to God as he lead me out of my comfort zone. I was never comfortable in groups and yet getting involved in a group at church was exactly what I needed. I joined the young adults group and a small group. Fear could have held me back, but I had to look at the bigger picture and trust God. That was 8 years ago and for 4 years now I have lived a life I couldn’t even dream of back then. I have good friends that I can count on and I am in a small group I love. It took work, but it has been so worth it. Had I given into fear I would not be living this great life. You have great insights.

  21. Great lesson Ken. I learned a similar lesson this past week. It is not just about what you accomplish…but also about what you overcome.

    Bless you,


  22. Ken, My husband and I are going trough some hard times, he’s been looking for a job but keeps getting rejected I just read this aloud and wish you could have seen the releif on his face. Guess it gave him perspective thanks so much. He’s ready to pound the pavement “Just one more time”

    Wanda Rudder

  23. Pingback: Why You Must Develop the Skill of Public Speaking | Goins, Writer

  24. I love it when you write about your grandchildren!

    I was reading in Mark today and came to the verse that says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

    Sounds passionate.

    In my journal I wrote, “Lord, I want to love You with everything in me. How do I do that? What does it look like? I am frail, imperfect, burdened, unbalanced, and broken. I need help… Papa, I’m reaching up to You. Reach down and pick me up.”

    When my daughter was little and speaking with a small vocabulary she would look up at me with lifted arms and say, “Up”

    And how could I not?

    So I tend to get that same picture of God. When my quiet time is getting me no where, and I just can’t seem to plug in spiritually, I lift my arms and say, “Up!”

    And how could He not?

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