Monday 28 January 2013

A poem for those cycling challenges

As we come off the back of a weekend that included Burns Night I thought I'd follow one of the traditions of this festive Scottish evening by reciting poetry. In honour of the most famous poet from North of the border, Higg and a few of our friends read out our favourite poems after dinner. I read out a rock'n'roll poem by Murray Lachlan Young about Keith Richards. Another poem that I like is It Couldn't Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest.

I first heard the poem at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show at the end of last year.

It was a very apt poem to recite, in celebration of British athlete's outstanding achievements at the 2012 Olympics.

As a cyclist I like the way that this poem fitted perfectly with Bradley Wiggins's historic win at the Tour de France last year.

Many people thought the idea of a Briton winning the world's most famous cycle race couldn't be done, but Bradley Wiggins did it!

This poem inspires me, and it is one I will remember when I have to tackle La Marmotte, the Tour of Flanders, a ride from Milan to Rome, or any other cycling challenges. In fact, I will remember it when I tackle any challenge - on or off the bike.

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

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