Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
I have made no qualms about the fact that I plan to hike the Appalachian Trail. After about 20 years of telling myself that I could never do it, I have finally said, I CAN. The decision was not easy, or entered into lightly. It is a 5-6 month commitment away from family, job, and a normal life, walking roughly 2, 168 miles from Georgia to Maine, with all your belongings on your back.
While I have made the commitment, I still face doubts, negative reactions from loved ones, and that voice in my head still telling me,
“You can’t do this”
This weekend, I went to the movies on a whim to see Eddie The Eagle. The true life story of Eddie Edwards, who in 1988 overcame every obstacle to become Great Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper in roughly 50 years.
From an early age, Eddie had dreamed of competing in the Olympics. He drove his parents crazy with his crazy shenanigans attempting to get there. He finally discovered downhill skiing and became rather good at it. However, he did not make the final cut for the 1988 British team in Calgary.
Devastated, Eddie refused to give up, finding a loop hole that again brought his dream to life. There were no British Ski Jumpers. If he could master the sport, he would have no competition, and would be a shoe in. Through sheer drive and determination, Eddie found his way into the Olympics. Obstacles, and angry voices where abundant, but Eddie never lost sight of his dream… to be an Olympic Athlete.
In the two events Eddie competed in, he came in dead last. But each was a victory. He accomplished what he set out to do. Compete.
Life is full of opportunities and dreams. We can sit and say, “That’s too hard”, or we can take a leap of faith and set out on the adventure of a lifetime. It starts with believing in yourself, even if those around you are scoffing and laughing.
How are you ever going to know what you are capable of if you don’t try?
The movie ended with a quote from Modern Day Olympic founder Pierre de Coubertin,
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is NOT to win, but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.”
We may not succeed. We may fall. But how are we going to know unless we take a risk? If we fall, get back up. When the crowd is laughing and saying we can’t, don’t listen.
It is time we stop sitting on the couch dreaming of what we want. Get up. Dust yourself off. Limber up.