Always Choose The Harder Option

Robert Frost has long been one of my favorite poets.  One poem that made a lasting impression on me, and I thought it would be fun if we conducted a thought experiment for this blog post.

The Poem Is “The Road Not Taken”

You may know it:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

If we read it rapidly and mindlessly, it seems that Frost is suggesting to us all that we should take the road less traveled and this has been the interpretation for some.

Lets Look at The Words More Closely

First of all, the title is “The Road Not Taken” which makes no claim about which road was traveled more.  If we read carefully, Frost eludes to both roads being worn “really about the same” and that both lay equally covered in leaves that hadn’t been walked on.

So really, he’s painting us a picture of a fork in the road (a metaphor for decisions in life) where either path (at least on the surface) looks to be about the same.  The last stanza is really what interests me.  Frost gives us the idea that he’ll look back on this moment someday, and recount it (with a sigh, suggesting he won’t even believe himself) differently than he currently sees it.  He’ll say that he took the “road less traveled by” and that this has “made all the difference.”

Our Minds Are Tricksters

I won’t go into a great deal of psycho-analysis of Frost’s work, but knowing the way I think I can say with some certainty that if I were to recall a “fork” in the road where each path were equal I may inflate the recollection as Frost does just to make myself feel good about myself.  As if to say that I got to where I am because I chose the “harder” path in life.  That would make me feel good about myself I suppose.

Another idea planted in my mind a few times in life is that when we are faced with two choices, we should choose the harder.  The very fact that we are even considering the other is pure laziness.  We know intuitively in the back of our minds what’s the right thing to do, and this trick simply forces us to recognize this fact.

Use This Trick In The Gym, Get Better Results

If you’re trying to decide between a 25# and a 35# kettlebell for a workout, pick the 35#.  If you don’t, likely you’ll go Robert Frost when recalling the decision and embellish the facts saying you could have used a 35# KB.

This advice, of course, is intended to be used within reason.  Don’t pick the harder choice that will lead to injury.

I have tried to engineer a situation where the harder of two choices would be a bad idea.  As of yet, I have yet to develop a serious one.  Let me know if you can think of a situation where choosing the harder choice wouldn’t be a better idea.

Heads Up, July 4th Schedule

July 2nd – Noon Will Be The Last Class of They Day (5:30am, 6:30am, 8:30am Fit Chick, and 12pm Only)
July 3rd – CPMFITness Closed
July 4th – CPMFITness Closed
July 5th – CPMFITness Closed
July 6th – CPMFITness Closed
July 7th – Resume Normal Schedule

The O-Board Says…

A. Starting Every 90 Seconds for 7 Rounds
3 Hang Snatch

B. 15-10-5 Hang Snatch
Rest 30 sec after set
Max Ring Pushup
Rest 30 sec

C. 4 Rounds for Repetitions
30 sec KB Swing
30 sec Rest
30 sec Double Unders
30 sec Rest

Post by Stets.