…I’m sure you have.
You say yes without thinking and before you know it you find yourself doing, or going to someplace you wouldn’t normally go to.
My saying Yes, left me standing on a metal platform 70 feet off the ground. – As someone that’s got a fear of heights it looked three times that.
“It’ll be over before you know.” The guy said as he did his final check on my zip-line.
48 hours beforehand, I’d walked with my wife and son through the Center Parcs holiday park and seen what I’d signed myself up to. I watched a screaming mother and her giggling daughter launch themselves off the platform and travel the two hundred feet across the lake and end up crashing into two huge safety mats.
‘That’ll be you in a few days,’ my wife smirked.
‘Yeah…’ I mumbled looking back at the platform high above us. It was made of metal but I still think I saw it sway in an easy breeze.
‘And look at the rest of it,’ my son Finn added.
My eyes travelled to the rickety rope bridge that led up to the platform. Each step, separate from the other, so that they swayed independently, making it harder to walk across.
My wife sensed my fear. ‘If you won’t do it, I’ll do it for you.’
The easiest choice would have been to say yes and pass the buck.
But I knew if I did I would regret it.
Not that I was trying to play the big brave man role, but I’d know that I’d chickened out. And I knew I’d regret it for far longer than I would be attached to that zip line.
‘No, I’ll do.’
Sometimes the easiest thing is to back away. Not to do something because it’s scary or that we might make a fool out of ourselves.
And in those moments we feel like it’s a victory, we saved ourselves.
But on the other side, we find that it’s a hollow victory. One that doesn’t last long.
And it quickly pales as it’s shadowed by the mountain of regret that shows up. – Where all we’re left with are the ‘What if,?’….’Why didn’t I?’…. questions that we never get an answer to.
Getting a pat on the helmet, I closed my eyes and pushed myself off the platform. A second later the only thing that was holding me to a cable was a small wheeled bracket that was supposed to hold over a ton of weight. – I still didn’t think it was strong enough.
I didn’t have long to think about it. Racing across the lake side by side with my son Finn, we suddenly found ourselves being caught by safety equipment and slowed down to a stop.
It was over.
Would I do it again? Probably never. Would anyone know I did it? – Only those that heard me screaming for my life.
But I would.
I’d said I’d do the thing, and I did that thing.
We can think we’re winning by not getting out of our comfort zone, or letting someone else do the work that we need to do.
It’s the hollowest victory you can ever have.
And last I saw, no one sells t-shirts for them.
Short and sweet….”Do the thing, you’ll be so glad you did.”
Maybe I’ll put that on a mug?
BTW, here’s how to do that if you have some catchy slogans of your own.