There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature–
One vibrant morning in Omaha last summer. I joined a friend for bike ride and a “refueling” stop midway. We decided to try a little café in Countryside Village that is well-known for diverse, healthy fare and devilishly good treats. Both of us were trying to get our diets in order for the upcoming cyclocross season, so splitting a sandwich fit in perfectly with our plan(s).
Moments after sitting down by the front window, a friendly waiter arrived to take our order. We asked for a club sandwich (which could feed four people) and two waters, one with a wedge of lemon. As our waiter was starting to walk away to place our order into the bustling kitchen, my friend threw in a side of homemade kettle chips. Needless to say – “things” just got real!
“Dude… You, of all people, know that I am not very good at saying “no.” Do you smell how delicious they are?Look at the young couple enjoying their order! Fresh kettle chips are simply irresistible I tell you! It’s torture! The humanity – Gah!!!!”
“I’ll have a few and toss the rest away …”
Finally I chime in …
“How about “no” kettle chips? Let’s say “no” to the order of chips now, so we don’t have to say “no” over and over when they arrive from the kitchen – begging to be savored and devoured!”
My friend finally relented and we kindly asked our waiter to cancel the order. Twenty miles down the road, my friend said he felt pretty good that he didn’t get the tasty, perfectly fried kettle chips. Who needs duck fat fried slices of potato heaven, when you can share good company and an awesome sandwich instead!?!
This is when my Strava obsessed and quasi – superstitious friend discovered the strength and power of saying “No.” Did saying no to the kettle chips add watts and power to our hill training program? Who knows, and who cares. Although we did go back after finishing our century …
“Yes no yes no yes no?
Yes red, no blue?
No red, yes no?
In out, up down?
Do don’t, can can’t?
Choices sit on the shelf life
New shoes in a shoe shop.
If the in crowd are squeezing into a must-have shoe
And the one pair left are too tiny for you
Don’t feel compelled into choosing them
If you’re really a size 9, buy that size.
While everyone else
Hobbles round with sore feet
Your choices should feel comfortable
Or they aren’t your choices at all.
Why limp when you can sprint?”
– David Baird, Fiesta of Happiness: Be True to Yourself
May I ask you once more? In a deeper, more personal way … Why limp through the day, when you can sprint?
When I take the chilly tools
from the shed’s darkness, I come
out to a world made new
by heat and light.
The snake basks and dozes
on a large flat stone.
It reared and scolded me
for raking too close to its hole.
Like a mad red brain
the involute rhubarb leaf
thinks its way up