A few days ago my friend Todd MacDonald who was one of the founders of “Give to Live”, an organization dedicated to raising money to provide innovative care and caring to people with cancer and their families, wrote about how important it is to “have tried” and possibly failed, than to never have tried at all. It was an article that I read and took to heart!

Another friend, Ron Allen who in recent years has had a big impact on me because he tries many things… and he succeeds at most… marathons, long swims, long bike rides and triathlons for example… He and I had a good conversation about trying to ride 300 kilometers around Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail, in one go. While we discussed potential strategies. he reminded me of how important it is to make the attempt, and to cherish the accomplishment, no matter how small, of taking the first step and then the many. I got it!

Today, another friend, Jeff Bird posted this quote attributed to Zig Ziglar and others… “the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried”. It was like a message from elsewhere that reminded me that we all have to train to be good at whatever-we-aspire-to in life. Then there are other motivational phrases like “the longest journey begins with the first step” that in combination with the many others, we can use to help us strive to new accomplishments. I try to live in them!

But it seems that new motivation is needed at almost every challenging turn of our lives... we can get discouraged, and fail to remember that 'turn of a word' that motivated us last week or last year... or yesterday. 

While reviewing the sources of the Zig Ziglar quote above, I saw this one from Michael Jordan … “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot, and missed. I’ve failed over, and over, and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed”.  In between the failures, I would be willing to bet that MJ practiced his shots millions of times to get the hundreds of winners... In this case it reminds me that you have to take the shot, to make the shot… like the miles we put on our saddles in order to ride even more...

In 2010 I chose to ride with ‘Give to Live’ from Vancouver to Austin, Texas. I had not ridden over 25 kilometers since my recovery started from my cancer. I started training with 69 days to go before leaving Vancouver on the first of 17 near centuries… in a row! I rode every day, all of my designated distances, on the way to Austin… save one!

I could not will myself up Douglas Pass in Western Colorado… it was a huge climb… I started up and soon gave-up! Did it ruin my complete trip of thousands of kilometers ridden… naaaa, it gave me a goal for 'some day' to climb that thing… doing the Cabot Trail is a step toward getting over Douglas Pass before I rest… that's motivation!

Douglas Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 8,268 ft (2,520 m) above the sea level, located in the Bookcliff Mountains, in Garfield County, Colorado, United States. On my bucket list...


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