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Just Try

When my youngest son was about 6 years old. He had not yet learned to ride a bike without training wheels. He was working at it but he did not have down. He would build up his fear in his mind by telling me all the ways he could get hurt if he fell. How he didn’t want to fall. Just a few more days with the training wheels. Just a few more times and then he will be ready. It sounds familiar right? Just a few more times, then I will be ready to do what I said I needed to but kept putting off. Just me? Cool.

Then came the neighbor kids with their bikes. One girl in particular my son really liked. She was fun, she was responsible and he wanted the freedom she had to ride the loop around our neighborhood.

One day, she rode by so effortlessly waiving with one hand, riding with the other and smiled right at my son.

He turned around, looked at me, looked at his bike, looked back at me and so boldly proclaimed. “Today is the day!”

So, I smiled, laughed and thought, you are in trouble kid.

Oh the power a smile can have upon us.

I gathered the socket set, popped his training wheels off and said here ya go buddy.

He looked right at me and said “I can do this.”

I replied, yes you can.

I will never forget the push I gave him. It was just 3 steps.

1 2 3….

Just like that my boy took off pedaling like a pro. He let out a big yahoooooooooo, followed by a “I did It!”

He got down to the end of the sidewalk, turned around and yelled to me again.

“I can do it.” “I am doing it!”

He pedaled hard all the way back to me, accepted a high 5, a good job best buddy and then she came turning around the corner….

I said go get her bud.

Then he rode off with a friend he had only been hoping to have.

I love thinking on this story. It makes me sad and very happy all at the same time.

I get sad because those 3 steps, 1 2 3, were the very last steps I helped my son with riding a bike. He doesn’t need that type of help anymore. It makes me happy because I remember what it was like to taste freedom for the first time and that never gets old.

What I learn from this story continually is that we can do all the right things. We can practice the right techniques. We can show up. We can meet the right people but at some point we have to just try.

We have to try.

Actually trying means, we can actually fail.

This story could have had a different ending, the outcome could have been so much different if my son had not just tried. He had not tried so many times before. Call it motivation. Call inspiration. Call it planned creativity. Call it whatever you want but if you want something, you find a way. The trouble comes when it is something we want but are not willing to accept the possibility of failure. We get comfortable.

We get complacent.

We choose our safe spaces and never really learn to try things that we might actually be bad at. We rationalize the why with “I am just not that type of person.” “This is what I have, some people got it, some don’t.” “Must be nice for those people.” You have the choice, always, to be “those people”. It just takes an honest try. An honest evaluation and many more honest tries.

Every success sits a top of hundreds if not thousands of failures.

I am certainly not as successful as I want to be. But I am so much closer than I was. The difference between the day my son decided that “Today is the day” and you is simply that he decided his fear was not nearly as big as the possibility of the win.

Go out and just try.

See what happens.

Report back here.

Let us know what you did.


Zack Schuyler

Managing Partner FMG

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