Tuesday 3 March 2009

Green eggs and ham

Yesterday was the anniversary of Dr. Seuss' birthday. He was born on 2 March 1904 (died in 1991) and you, like me, certainly grew up on a healthy diet of The Cat in the Hat and many of Dr Seuss' other fabulous stories.

One of my favourite-favourite Dr Seuss books is still Green Eggs and Ham. The tale follows a character, Sam-I-Am, who tries to convince an unnamed character to try Green Eggs and Ham. Sam-I-Am tries everything to get this dude to try this dish. He suggests different locations (here, there, anywhere, in a house, in a box, in a car, in a tree, on a train, in the dark, in the rain, on a boat) and dining partners (fox, mouse, goat). This guy just won't try them.

Sam-I-Am keeps harrassing the guy and eventually, to get rid of Sam-I-Am, he tries them.

If you will let me be,
I will try them.
You will see.

And so he tries Green Eggs and Ham and discovers that he likes them and from this moment on will happily eat them anywhere and with anyone (or thing).

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,

There's a moral to this; one that is applicable to adventure racing and other such events (and many other things in life too!).

All too often people say "I can't" without hesitation, without even considering the possibility of being able to do something.

Take this run I've just done in Namibia. Most people of general fitness could do it. Sure, you'll have long days out there but you could still walk/trek/hike to the end of each stage with a little jog here and there. With attention to your feet and overall body maintenance during the event you can make it to the end.

The problem is, like the unnamed character, people won't even try in the first place. And this 'mentality' extends to orienteering events, sprint, one day and multi-day adventure races and even other disciplines.

How do you know whether you like something (or are able to do it) it you don't even try?

I've always taken the approach of trying those Green Eggs and Ham. If I like them, then I know what they are and I have the option to go for them again. If I don't like Green Eggs and Ham, then I know what they're like because I've tried them and I won't eat them again.

It really is this simple when it comes to disciplines, events, distances and durations.

And what's the worst that can happen? You could decide you don't like Green Eggs and Ham? That isn't so bad is it?

If Sam-I-Am offers you Green Eggs and Ham, try them; and wash them down with a little belief in yourself too.


Anonymous said...

.....love your work :)

adventurelisa said...

I bought a copy of Green Eggs & Ham last night. My local secondhand book shop didn't have a copy. I bought it from Exclusive Books - R85.00. Daylight robbery! Nonetheless, I wanted it, so I bought it. A great read everytime I need a reminder to jump in with both feet. Lisa