When I’m not sure I can, I’m sure I can try.
There is no try?
The word “try” gets a bad rap. Take the Star Wars character Yoda and his famous line, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” I understand the intention but I still like the word “try.” Simply put, that word helps me move out of NO WAY and into action.
Last Sunday I was cycling with my friend in Wisconsin – my second longest ride of the season. Our goal was to do 70 miles but we ended up bailing at 50. Chicagoland is really flat, and this terrain was far hillier than I am used to. That and the tailwind / crosswind combo was killing me. Towards the end of the ride when I would get to the top of I hill I would say a silent prayer: “Please for the love of all things holy let that one be the last.” And then I would round the bend only to see another.
Upon seeing yet another hill my defeatist self-talk would kick in: I cannot do that. I am done. I am spent. No way. Maybe I should walk. Where is SAG support anyway? WTH is with all these hills?
Looking back, I realize I just never learned the critical art of cheering myself on. Maybe you learned that in organized sports, or from your parents, but I never acquired that skill… that soundtrack. I know better now.
No harm in trying
Last Sunday when I heard myself giving up without even giving a shot, I switched the tape: No harm in trying. What’s the worst case scenario? I get halfway there and walk the rest? So what! I’m getting stronger for trying, becoming a smarter cyclist for trying. Be proud of the effort and pedal on. Unleash the beast. Go you!
And damn if I didn’t try. It hurt but I made it to the top of that hill. And the next one, and the next one too. Had I attempted the 70 mile route would I have crushed it, or bonked? I’ll never know. And had I never tried to take those hills I would have not known that deep down — buried under “I can’t” — I actually had it in me.
It was the TRY
Last Sunday the emotional win wasn’t riding to the top of those hills; it wasn’t even the finish line; it was the TRY.
Now I’m going to “try” to finish my book. How about you? Switch the tapes and pedal on. No way to know where you’ll go unless you try.