A few years ago, I led a spin class every Monday. About 50 minutes into the one hour ride, we hit the last of 4 high intensity intervals. Right before they have to stand up off their seats, this part of Simple Mind’s “Alive and Kicking” plays:
What you gonna do when things go wrong?
What you gonna do when it all cracks up?
What you gonna do when the Love burns down?
What you gonna do when the flames go up?
Who is gonna come and turn the tide?
What’s it gonna take to make a dream survive?
Who’s got the touch to calm the storm inside?
Who’s gonna save you?
The lyrics and that moment in the ride remind me that there is a space between what the world does and what we do. And that space is the area of choice.
There are moments that have challenged me in a stand-up-or-stay-down, keep-on-going or-give-up sort of way. Not just in sports but also in life — if you’ve lived long enough and tried hard enough, I guess you know what that means.
There are days I said no more, it’s not worth it, or the chose to react in a dramatic tele novella sort of way. Those are the one’s I regret and try to correct. The ones I don’t regret are the times I went for it. Sometimes it was the most impractical thing to do, or the most risky, or the most unfeasible. It could’ve been a businesses with only hope, a person who would not change, or a finish line that was too far with too little time left. It didn’t matter if I succeeded or failed. What mattered was I chose to do what I thought was right or what I felt deep down that I really wanted to do.
No matter how hard the task is and no matter how small & limited we think we are, there really is a space to choose. In that area of choice, I discovered, is the area of desire. What do you really want to do vs what the world says is doable? How do you want to define yourself when the world only gives you two choices: give up or keep on going?