I Have Decided to Quit Trying


So as I am emerging from my 10 month long cancer coma it has come to my attention that a long anticipated movie is coming to us from a galaxy far far away this December. My family is over the moon. Star Wars is just one of those sagas that knows no generational boundaries. What’s not to like? I’m not a real Sci Fi person and I love Star Wars. I always wanted to look like Princess Leah in that bikini in Return of the Jedi. Needless to say, my little family is gearing up for an opening night adventure when it comes out. One of the good things about living in a small town is that the crowd although big for our town will be small compared to everywhere else in the country.

In the midst of all of this Star Wars hype I was listening to a podcast the other day by Michael Hyatt. I was on my way to one of my weeks of radiation in Eugene and was listening to the podcast in the car on the way up. Mr. Hyatt brought up this whole thing about “trying.” He sighted the clip from The Empire Strikes Back when Yoda was in the swamp with Luke Skywalker. In the scene Luke is trying to use The Force to lift his fighter plane out of the swamp. He is tired and frustrated and just wants to get the job done. In frustration Luke says “I’ll give it a try” and Yoda replies “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”

How many times to we say to ourselves that we are trying to do something. When you say that you are trying what you are really doing is giving yourself an excuse for failing. That stings a bit doesn’t it? It stings because I use the word try all the time. My kids use it all the time. It’s an easy cop out when you are tired and frustrated and don’t want to admit that your effort if any at all isn’t good enough. Failing isn’t the bad part of the equation here it’s the absence of ownership of the fail that is the issue.

Either young Skywalker was going to raise that plane out of the swamp or he wasn’t. Either you are going to clean your house or you are not. Your kids are either going to get their homework done or they are not. You are either going to read your bible and pray a bit every day or you are not. I am either going to write most days and become a better writer or I am not. There is no try.

In light of my new found freedom in doing and not trying I have decided to train for a half marathon that will take place in May of 2016.


I ran one with my buddies in 2011 and we ran it in honor of Aimee. We wanted her to know that we loved her and were there for her in her fight against breast cancer. I have done it once so I know that it can be accomplished. The road is going to be a long one as I am only walk/jogging 2 miles at this point. My own battle with breast cancer has left me weaker than I was before so I am taking it slow so that I don’t get injured in this new adventure. I have always been prone to shin and calf pain and since right now everything hurts, I want to be careful not to make it worse.

In light of all this I had the opportunity to go for a walk/jog with my son this afternoon. I really didn’t want to go. I was tired and I am typically a morning exerciser. As I was talking myself into putting my sweats on and curling up on the couch I remembered the whole “try”thing. When May rolls around am I going to say that I tried to train for this event or am I going to have actually trained? I don’t know what the eventual outcome of all of this will be but I do know that I don’t want to get to May and have to admit that I didn’t make enough effort to get my shoes on and get out the door. So off we went.

I have yet to break the news to my kids that “trying” will no longer be an acceptable answer when things don’t get accomplished or work out they way they desired. I know it will be a bit of an uphill battle to explain the difference between trying and doing but the hope is that they will begin to admit the fail and learn from it and do better next time. It will be interesting as I am going to be learning it right along with them. Failing is a part of life and we learn from our failures, if I keep covering up my failure by making the lame assertion that I tried then I give myself a pass and learn nothing. I have made several attempts in my life at long road races. One time I finished. A lot of other times I got injured or just didn’t put in the time or effort in to accomplishing the goal.

Whatever the outcome, I am going to put in the effort and let the chips fall as they may.

Have a great day, All!

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