I knew Mother’s Day would be extra tough this year so we decided to go on a short family trip to the Texas Hill Country. It was your typical awesome family vacation…full of belly laughs, way too many s’mores, kids crying, parents yelling…good times.
My man planned the whole thing. This guy is more than he seems. He packed all the food and fun necessities, except for our clothes. I just can’t trust him with that. We once got into an argument because I tried to explain to him the names of the different shades of blue…other than light and dark blue. I now only ask his opinion with the occasional, ‘This looks good, right?’ It’s what works best for us.
One thing about J is he is good at convincing you of things. He’s not arrogant or overly confident. It’s more of an easygoing yeah, sure, of course this works. So when he suggested we bring our bikes and ride some of the trails in the Hill Country, I thought it would be a great idea. I mean, I ride through our neighborhood and down the occasional Houston trail so obviously my biking skill level is super high. It was only going to be a short 1 mile ride.
He failed to mention the mile ride just to get to the trail or that the trail was not a circle so then we would have to turn around to go back. He never lies about our adventures, but sometimes he leaves out parts of the story. After 11 years, I should know this about him…but, I figured 4 miles on a bike. Totally doable.
Here’s what we both did not factor in…
It is called the HILL Country FOR A REASON.
The hills are like small rounded mountains. They go up and up, then a curve, then up again. By the time we made it to the trail head, I was huffing an puffing and mostly walked my bike up the hill. J was barely able to make it up while pulling over 100 extra lbs of kid and bike trailer. Finally we reached the trail head and, y’all I’m not even kidding, I looked up and whimpered. In front of me was another huge mountain-hill that went straight.up.to.the.tree.tops.
I’m not ashamed to admit I could barely even push my bike up the hill, let alone ride. At one point J’s front wheel came off the ground from the incline and weight of the trailer while the girls bounced around like two little bobble heads in the back. I was simultaneously laughing and cursing my husband under my breath as I trudged up the never ending hill with my little 6-speed. I asked him later what he had to say for himself. “Well, now we know our limits.”
It ended up being one of those ridiculous family vacation stories we’ll laugh about for years to come, but it got me thinking.
Have you ever wanted to try something but knew without a doubt you would fail? Like complete and total, fall on your face, there’s-no-way-you-can-try-hard-enough failure? It’s scary. Especially if there are witnesses.
At what age do we stop trying and just accept some arbitrary fence post as the end of the line?
The older we get, the less new things we try. Babies and kids test their limits 1,000 times a day and 999 of those tries cause them to fall on their face, literally. I think it might be good for us to fail. It means we are trying. We are doing something. It means we aren’t coasting along half asleep in our own lives.
My job allows me to talk to people of all ages. You know what I hear a lot? The 50-somethings say I wish I would’ve done _____ when I was your age. I’m too old for that stuff now. The 80-somethings say I wish I would’ve done ____ when I was young and in my 50’s. I’m too old and set in my ways now.
I don’t want to look back and wish I had tried more things…even silly things. Like mountain biking or attempting to understand WordPress.
What about you? Maybe you try something big like totally change careers or start your own business. Go back to school or start a non-profit. Maybe you will be successful.
Or maybe you fail.
Maybe you practice speaking a new language and accidentally cuss someone out. You write a book and it doesn’t even come close to making the best seller list. You record a song that never plays on the radio.
You laugh about it and you keep trying.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to keep riding my bike.
Because for those 30 seconds coming down the hill, when I didn’t feel like I might have a heart attack or break my neck, it was really fun.