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Paying Our Dues

At a reunion recently an old friend I hadn’t seen in years was talking about the level of rowing she’s been doing. She turned her hands palms up and showed me the evidence in the form of blisters. Elite rowers are a tough lot, and this otherwise sweet and warm person is as mentally tough as they come.

She asked me if I’d been rowing at all, and of course I mentioned some rowing on the ergometer and some such nonsense. She smiled, turned my palm up to the sky and called BS on me, and we both laughed. You can’t fool an elite athlete, they know when someone is paying their dues. A few turns on the rowing ergometer is not properly paying one’s dues. It’s merely a step in the right direction.

This is true in all of our work, isn’t it? We do or we do not, as Yoda might say it. The trying is nice but we must ship our work daily for it to matter a lick. Everything else is just talk. So my elite rowing friend reminded me that there’s work to do both on the erg and in other areas of my life. When done earnestly and honestly for the time it takes, the results will show. Until then, we must stop talking and keep paying our dues.

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