Monday, May 21, 2012

Playing it Safe to Win...

on the Tonle Sap in Cambodia
There are some things you cannot practice on your training partners. Some things you can only do in the actual fight. These things require the most courage, the most willingness to risk.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.” ~ William Shedd

I wonder, what am I for?

In basketball if you are pushing hard on a fast break and choose to hit the J from the three point line well... If you actually hit it your bench and the crowd goes wild with pride and joy; if you miss then Coach and everyone are screaming and throwing their hands up at what an awful decision you made. I have known both these moments more than once.

I have some things I want to do and they do not involve playing it safe to win. They involve a willingness to miss, a willingness to fail. They require a faith in myself that come what may I will find a way to get myself out of whatever hole I dig myself into if I do not succeed in the trying.

I do not mean making unexpected choices in the third round if we are feeling that I had a good handle on the first two. I understand as in basketball that it is good strategy to burn time in the fourth quarter if we are in the lead. But getting there what I want is... I want to fight like I train. I want my imagination to take over my hesitations. I want to do the things I dare to dream.

As I am editing, reading this aloud to myself, I feel my heart constricting and tears begging me to let go, to feel free to fight my fight. And I wonder again, what is this love?

If my bloodline, my environment and my teachers built me as a ship, what kind of ship have they built? For what purpose have they built it? I know that though this ship is still being restructured that they have equipped it with quality gear. But will I be able to access the knowledge I need to steer myself where they want me to go? Will my mind, body and soul weather through the unpredictable storms and currents?

But mostly, will I dare to sail into the unknown waters that sometimes whisper to me the kind of possibilities known only to those who are willing to fail, willing to disappoint, willing to reach beyond safety?

I have some things I want to do and they do not involve playing it safe to win.

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