What gives us the confidence to go out on that limb? With so many remarkable heros in our midst both past and present, what can we glean from them as to how far to reach? So many historians, sharpshooters and those who knew her tried to explain Annie Oakley's talent. I wonder how much of her skill was her scrappiness, her hard won belief in herself.
When failure is not an option does it change the game?
Surely she didn't have any options, it was do or be done with for her. I think that can apply to many of our most famous inspirations.
Today I watched the Boston Marathon. As a runner myself I was glued to the screen in awe of the hard work and skill of these athletes. I could not contain my excitement, caught up in the race track moment, screaming at the T.V.-- GO! GO! GO!! when the race was too close to call for an excruciating three blocks. What separated those two racers, the one who won and the one who did not as they crossed the finish line? Was it luck? Destiny? Did one train harder than the other or was it that one was just unwilling to give up to the point of no return. As I watched the winner collapse to the ground, looking as if she would expire with her next breath I realized one thing. She was not going to fail. Failure was not an option. To me, she was going to win that marathon and if her leg fell off in the process, so be it. This is not to say that the other runner did not want it as badly, far from it, but to me there was a consuming desperation in that runner's eye that the other runner did not possess.
Maybe that is what draws us to our icons. We look at them and marvel at their sheer force of will. Their heart beats so loud we can almost hear it in our own ears. How truly magical it must be in that moment to cross that line, achieve that goal, hit that glass ball. It takes our own perceived limitations and shakes them from the ground up. You mark my words, you will see more runners on the road tomorrow, myself included. Each one of us thinking somewhere in our unconscious "if they can do it, I can do it."
What a delicious invitation.