That's what Nate's skateboarding coach told the 7-year-olds in the Skateboarding 2 class last Saturday. Good advice. I wish that lesson would sink in to my 38-year-old head.
Have I ever regretted trying something and not achieving it? No.
Have I ever regretted not trying something? Yes.
Lesson learned? Apparently not. All those A's in school and a basic life lesson still eludes me.
What do I regret not trying?
- not going out for the basketball team in junior high. I was tall for my age and we used to shoot baskets in the driveway all the time. I would have done fine and probably really liked it. For whatever reason, I had it in my head that I was "not athletic" so that was the end of that.
- not getting a job at the Daily Illini during my University years. I started in Journalism and my academic advisor told me to go get a job at the university newspaper (the DI). For whatever reason I decided I was "too shy" and didn't do it, but would constantly compose "columns" in my head. What a moron.
- not going hang gliding when I had the opportunity. I actually did want to try it. I really don't know why I didn't - at the time I guess I didn't realize how important it was to seize the opportunity when it presents itself.
There are probably more but those are the three big ones that bother me the most.
As for my giant failure - do I regret geting married even though it ended in divorce? No. I would have always wondered what if... and always compared every relationship to some mythical one I would have built up in my head. I didn't end up where I thought I would be, but my life has been and continues to be full of incredible surprises.
So, what's my problem? Whenever I hit a rough patch with the book, my head floods with those evil "What the hell do you think you're trying to do?" demons. My inner Buffy is still working out the kinks in her roundhouse, but she is really trying to keep the demons under control. My inner Giles is trying to help by providing all the past "trying/not trying" evidence that the demons are wrong. Maybe I need to work on my inner Spike. Spike would stop agonizing so much and just bloody well get on with it.