Nobody Ever Said the Road Less Traveled Was Easy

Two roads diverged in a wood and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  – Robert Frost

Recently, while on my morning run, a lady passed me coming the opposite direction. We exchanged pleasantries as runners often do. I gave it little thought, due to the fact that many people in our neighborhood walk or run every morning. Actually, I would have been more surprised to not be passed by at least one other walker or runner. But I was surprised by what happened next.

The woman fell. Hard.

I heard the scrape of rubber sole on cement, a slight scream, and turned to see her attempting to stand, then turning and sitting down. I rushed to her side and asked, “Are you ok?” She was dazed, but coherent and replied, “No.” She asked, “Am I bleeding?” I said, “You have a slight cut on the bridge of your nose and a scrape on your forehead, but I don’t see anything else.”

Fortunately, a neighbor just so happened to be getting into his truck to go to work, and so after a few moments of consoling, he and I helped her to her feet. We asked if there was anything we could do to help her. She replied, “No. I’m just going to walk the rest of the way.” She then pointed to the ground and said, “I didn’t even see that dip in the sidewalk. I usually run the other direction.”

Rewind the tape.

I did not know this person, but as a runner, I can imagine her routine. She got up, dressed, put on her running shoes, walked out the door, and at some point in her thought process made the decision, “I think I’ll take a different route today.” The result was a rather hard fall, but even though she will bear a few scars and bruises for a day or two, she will run again. She may even fall again. But my hunch isit won’t happen in the same spot.

Often, it is so easy to take the same road day after day. Many of us prefer safety and security to unpredictability and surprise. There’s nothing wrong with safety and security, but if those perpetually remain our default positions, do we risk not living while we live?

I’m not suggesting that you radically alter your entire existence, but I do think it important to pause on occasion, examine those aspects of your life that you are tolerating versus loving, and create a future that you can run toward versus a past that you are trying to escape. To do this, you must walk a different path.

You may trip up a time or two, but you probably won’t trip in the same place twice.

No one ever said the road less traveled was easy. But if the road you’re on is paralyzing your potential, then perhaps it is time to try another route.

Greg Anderson
Written by:
Greg Anderson
Online Curriculum Developer, Strategic Government Resources
Follow Greg on Twitter!@SGRGreg

6 responses

  1. Hi, Greg.

    The “two roads” quote you shared is actually by Robert Frost, thanks.

    Regards, Deelight

    What is to give light must endure burning.

    ~ Victor Frankl


    1. Hey there!

      The error was actually fixed shortly after the blog post was already emailed.

      Greg had the correct author of the quote in his original text, but it got messed up before publication. 😉


  2. Wow Greg;
    This almost describes me to a T! (Other than the running part) I am such a creature of habit that one could almost set a clock by my routine. I believe I do that so I “don’t” have to think, I just do! It is time to “think!”

    I am going to make a few changes (starting by driving a different way to work tomorrow) and see what happens.

    Thanks to all of you who provide us such great insight!

    1. And we’re glad to be the ones who provoked you to change, Charles! Have fun on your new route.

  3. The paralysis of potential…I’ve seen it much to often but now I know what to call it. Over time, complacency becomes a comfort zone. Thank for the wake up call!

    1. No problem, Enna. Thanks for the comment!

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