Monday, June 22, 2009

When 'Trying' is a Punchline...

When I walked in to the weight room at the Y this morning, I was immediately accosted by Trainer Extraordinaire, a man who has managed to motivate my husband into the fitter, trimmer man he is today, a man who trained the friend who trained me. He always has a smile on his face, always a joke on his lips, and his lack of body fat is in and of itself an inspiration. He has worn his big gold star proudly on his nametag ever since I gave it to him a few months back.

"Everyone's asking me, 'how come you get a gold star? Who gave you that?'" he said, motioning to the gaggle of guys who I see nearly every day chatting in between turns on the weights. "Why did I get a gold star? Tell 'em..." he demanded.

Without skipping a beat, I gave the honest answer: "For trying!" I said enthusiastically. I couldn't make out what the responses were exactly over the din of laughter that ensued. 'Trying,' clearly wasn't good enough for these muscle men, at least in a group to whom I didn't have the time to explain. Clearly, in this situation, it was results that mattered.

The poor trainer was sorry he'd asked, as they all took turns poking at him.

"Good try, better luck next time," "Well, at least you're trying..." and "Try, try again..."

I so wish trying would be rewarded more often. Trainer E tries when he gets to the gym every day at 6 a.m., tries when he pushes people who don't want to expend the necessary energy, tries when he pushes himself on the machines so he can manage to lead by example. He often succeeds, as in the case of my husband, but sometimes he doesn't. I know what that feels like.

I am in the midst of so many things that likely won't amount to much, except I like doing them, I like my kids to see me doing them, to see me trying. I've never really cared if I win the game, just so long as I have a good time playing and so do the other people involved. I guess that attitude doesn't always get you so far, but it depends on where you want to go. That is always the question.

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