By Eric Beach
I think it happens pretty quickly. You go from inactive to active and realize, oye, I've really let myself go! For me, it's the biggest hurdle that keeps me from "trying". When I discovered my mile time had risen from 6 minutes and 30 seconds to 10 minutes and 24 seconds, I was a wee bit discouraged. I told myself things like, "Whats the point? You'll never get back to the way you were so don't try. Just quit." It's a horrible, but common stream of logic.
I think in part, it's a problem with the definition of success, failure, and try. For me, I operate on a continuum of success and failure. I try and either succeed or fail, its all or nothing. When I fail, I usually quit. But can't success simply be defined as trying? For a long time I've viewed the word "try" as timid. It leaves room for the failure and is surprised by success. But in trying haven't you already succeeded on some level?
Trying is getting up and running even though you may finish the run in a walk. Trying is playing with your kids even though they look at you like you're crazy because, "Weird, daddy never plays with us." and though its awkward, you play, you stick with it and do it again tomorrow. Trying is succeeding in putting forth the effort to start. Without a start there can be no success or failure. So lets embrace the "try". Lets celebrate the failure as much as the success! Lets celebrate the failure because we tried and failure isn't permanent unless we never try again. Failure isn't permanent until it is, and that is our choice.
Lets look at failure a bit more now.
There was a sentence painted on the wall of my high school weight room. It read "try to fail". In its context, it referred to lifting weights and trying to reach muscle failure during a workout. Now, I see it as much more than that. What if we lived our lives trying to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and into the unknown. Into the unknown where failure lives. What if when failure comes, we learn from it and try again strengthened by the failure, wiser for it.
I'm not going to finish my race come race day if I don't fail now. I'm not going to fail now unless I try. If we don't try we stay ok. When we stay ok we don't get stronger... We stay ok...
So lets "try to fail" so we can get stronger, so we can be better, so we can thrive.