Risking it all…

posted in: Coaching | 2

What second life awaits on the other side of that risk?

I was on a head-clearing drive the other day, and Conor Oberst’s “Double Life” came on the radio. The chorus struck me as a sentiment a coach might share:


Don’t look down just cross the bridge
And when you get there
You’ll be glad you did
There’s a better life on the other side
There’s an honest life on the other side
It’s your double life
It’s your second life on the other side
There’s an honest life on the other side

This is about moving forward despite the risks, as terrifying as they might be. I’m picturing a swing bridge `a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. It seems like the risk of your life to cross, but if you don’t, well, then you’re really stuck.
Uphill

Moving forward in a risky situation is easier said than done. Switching metaphors from crossing to climbing…I sometimes have coaching clients describe their present state using a series of bike-related images. Are you “ditching the training wheels,” perhaps? Or “pulling a heavy load?” Or “on the climb of your life?”

Without hesitation, a client recently said she was on the climb of her life. The problem, she said, is that she doesn’t know where the top of the hill is. This is the scary part, the unknown. It’s not knowing if we have the stamina or the resources to make the climb. It’s knowing that there are no guarantees. There’s risk in going “all in,” but there’s greater risk in staying still in one spot, in not climbing the hill, in not crossing the bridge. So what hill are you climbing right now? What bridge are you summonsing the courage to cross?

Extended “Double Life” lyrics and a link to the video are below.

It ain’t simple like before
These are different times
No longer worried about getting bored
Just trying to clear my mind
From all the noise out there
All the spooks all the moving parts
Cameras everywhere I look imitating art
Don’t look down just cross the bridge
And when you get there
You’ll be glad you did
There’s a better life on the other side
There’s an honest life on the other side
It’s your double life
It’s your second life on the other side
There’s an honest life on the other side

 

2 Responses

  1. In often jumping ahead, too far, too fast, and then thinking how to backtrack… yet feeling that doing so will cut ties and possibly tarnish whatever professional or personal reputation I sought to build in the first place, I often wonder if pacing is actually the key to crossing the bridge – of course we should cross it, is my predilection, because how else to keep life alive – but how quickly should I move across? What do I miss when I don’t look down, to acknowledge the gravity of my decision?

    And if, in fact, crossing the bridge at any pace never amounts to the greatness I expected, I might interpret Oberst’s reference to a “double life” as a dream intended to remain an unreachable dream, an alternative vision coveted in my mind merely to buoy my spirit in a physical reality that will always be less than I wish for.

    Not having the option to cross is far more troubling to me in any case.

    But I think, when I am older and wiser and more experienced and probably also just more worn out, I will journey across the bridge at a reliable pace. Or maybe just be more discerning when choosing which bridge!

    I’m spoiled being a Pittsburgh native – so many bridges to consider!

    Thanks for posting this 🙂

  2. cycleforward

    I love the way you think, Lara! There’s so much to consider in what you say. I appreciate your case for looking down! Maybe the lyric should have been “Don’t look back” instead of “Don’t look down.”

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