When my grandfather was a young man, he got into a fight at softball game. It wasn’t a league or anything, just a friendly game where the two teams agreed that the losers would pay for the keg of beer. The odd thing about the situation was that he didn’t get into a fight with someone from the other team. He got into a fight with someone on his own team, for not trying hard enough. A lot has changed since my grandfather was a young man and I’m not a fan of fighting but this story has always stuck with me.
The kids that I encounter today have the term “try hard” for someone who puts out excessive effort in a situation. While I understand the desire for someone not to go too far in a situation that doesn’t call for it, I feel that the term weakens the “intensity muscle.” The social stigma of caring too much may have gone too far in the wrong direction. Balance is needed of course but much like the chastising of “nerds” was stupid, this might be worse. Putting someone down for being a “nerd” was an idiotic way for less intelligent people to shame the smart. As foolish as this was, the insult of “try hard” is probably more dangerous because it can be used much more pervasively. It is not just one group who fall victim to it but anyone can.
So I beg of you! Try hard! Try the absolute best that you can! You only get one shot at each day of your life. The thought that you might come up short because you were shamed into giving half effort is a scary proposition. That shame is only coming your way because the critics are afraid to try and fail. So leave it all out there on the field or my grandfather is going to kick your ass!
Go get ’em!