Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Road Less Traveled

Robert Frost’s classic poem, “The Road Not Taken,” offers up the classic stanza:

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference."

And while Frost’s tale has all the hallmarks of poetry, offering up a powerful and poignant message to each and every one of us who stands facing a crossroads, I’m also inclined to agree with Kid President. Go ahead and take a moment to watch this; I’ll wait.

So don’t you agree? Not cool, Robert Frost!

But, through it all, there’s strains of truth throughout both Frost’s poetic moment as well as what the young president has to offer. And as I stand at this crossroads, this way too built up and overly dramatic crossroad of whether or not to keep pursuing skating or to simply opt for being a bystander, I’m put at a place where I have to weigh my options.

And it’s not really much of a contest.

At this point, derby really doesn’t make sense in my life. I’m not a skater and am a long way from even beginning to attempt the actual “derby” element. Sure, I’ve made a few strides and as I’ve become fond of telling people am “falling less,” but the road is very long before me.

Add to that the fact that my time is very, very slim. As a Dad, husband, employee, and wannabe freelance writer, there’s very little daylight and, in some cases, moonlight left for me to squeeze anything in to. Even as I write this, I have two or three other projects that are hovering, big projects too, that haunt me from the outset.

Plus, let’s be honest; I’m no spring chicken. Yeah, I’m young by some standards but, I’m not gonna lie, I’m feeling old. And my body’s reflecting that as I’m just not in shape by a long shot. And the chances of me getting up the speed and fitness to even come close to playing, provided I could get the skating part down, are pretty slim.

Yeah, when you look at it like that, the answers pretty easy to determine, isn’t it?

Or is it?

Because, when I look at this, part of me is totally in agreement with the obvious. It’s no fun starting something that you instantly suck at. Nobody wants to fall, nobody wants to be the worst. But when you remember that everybody had to start somewhere, that laying down your pride and sucking it up may just lead to something bigger and better down the line, well, that changes the perspective a bit.

To some degree, that’s part of what happened last night. A quick post to our team’s Facebook group found me trying to weasel my way out of tonight’s practice, in part due to the very real fact that I won’t be able to make it by starting time because of work and because of the fact that they’ll be in super-training mode, fine-tuning things for this week’s epic bout. Which obviously doesn’t preclude the idea of me getting my skates back under me and working on my little Bambi track, does it?

And I got called on it. Which is exactly what I needed, to suffer a bit of accountability, holding me to the commitments and the time, albeit limited, that I have already invested in this adventure. These are people who have been there, who’ve been at the bottom and have worked their way up; what I heard in their statements of accountability were not only tinges of “Suck it up!” but also, “We believe in you.”

Yeah, that sounds a little over the top but, whether or not it was there, that’s just what I heard. And that’s what accountability really is, it’s allowing others in to help strengthen you and to make you a better person. And these people do that because, oftentimes, they’re able to see in you what you don’t.

In this case, I really hope they’re seeing a kick-ass skater.

But in the meantime, I’ve decided to take Frost’s road less traveled, to step out and keep trying my hand at this thing that’s been so frustrating to me. Anything that is this hard to get started at has got to have some serious reward at the end, right?

I’m really hoping so. See you at practice tonight. I'll be the one looking like Bambi on ice, again. But I'll be the one who keeps getting back up...

And a quick note to those who do believe, thanks. It means more than you know.

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