When things go wrong, what do you do?
When I was younger, my god son, who was on oxygen, had an incident where the oxygen tank came away from the tube and started spewing chemicals into the room. His mum was screaming for me to help and in that moment I felt it, fight or flight!
Initially I grabbed my god son and ran out the door, before I got to the front door I turned and ran back again, shouting “what will happen when it gets to the end of the tank?” To be told, “I don’t know!” Instantly I placed my hands over the tank and tried to use my body weight to stop it from flailing about whilst my god son's mum managed to turn the nozzle to close it off.
The emergency services were called, where the fire brigade checked and confirmed all was safe and I was taken in with chemical burns and my hands treated accordingly.
I felt awful! Not because I was in discomfort but because I had ran! My body had taken over, I didn’t think, I just ran. When I got to the front door I had told myself to stop and help and then my mind took over.
Have you ever experienced that feeling of fight or flight? Your body taking over and your mind not having a chance to intervene? I honestly believed I was going to die, having no knowledge of the tank or what happens when it becomes empty, I truly believed it would explode!
That experience, although terrifying in that moment, has helped me through every problem that has occurred both in my personal life and whilst running a busy dance company.
Do you remember when the ‘Ever Given’ was stuck in the Panama Canal? Twinkle & Teddy were stuck and unable to get through, with lots of dancers ordering bears and no bears to be given.
Being trolled personally on social media by another local school owner.
Coming back from the summer break to walk in and find the studio underwater with dancers due to arrive in under 30 minutes!
Covid! A show weekend with lots of dancers, teachers and grownups looking for guidance on if the performance should still go ahead, followed by school closures, online classes and strict guidance.
And more recently, missing costumes 4 days before show day!
Yes, none of these have been life or death situations but with each problem, comes solving. My daughter recently asked me, why are you not stressing? And I told her simply,
You can only work with the tools you have!
In a perfect world, all plans would go ahead as usual, no one would become ill, everything would work but life would be boring.
So when things go wrong, what do you do? I always tell myself to stop! Give myself a minute then jump into action.