Do Your Best

Often statements or meanings can get lost in language translation.

What you meant to say in English may become twisted or offensive in Dutch, French, German, or whatever other language.  What may seem crystal clear to you, may be confusing for another.  It is hard enough translating from my American English to my team manager/owner’s British English.  What is a light pole to me, is a lamp post to her.

When I asked a local Dutch man to translate the ingredients on a pudding carton to see if there was any flour in the contents  for my gluten-free teammates (I am not one of those crazies)… The man looked at me in bewilderment.  Flowers? He said.  No no no…Flour.  The conversation ended there.

For dinner, the options were a Red Mullet or a Hare with Forefoot.  Now, I know it isn’t a mullet, but is it really a hare?  Yes. Lapin.  It was tres bon.

Upon entering the finishing circuit of the last day at the Energiewacht Tour, the announcer yells, “1 to do, 1 to do!”.  It was different then the infamous Dave Towle’s “One to go, one to go, one to go…”  But, I will take what I can get.

When we finished the race yesterday, after an agressive move by my teammate Jackie, she was summoned to the podium.  They were speaking frantically in Dutch to us.  We assumed she had won the Pave Sprint through the cobbles while she was off the front.  We congratulated her for her jersey.  Yet, no jersey was delivered.  She actually had won the most aggressive rider, not the Pave jersey.  Whoops.  All I know is she got a special treat.

As we were lined up before the start, watching the local masses on their bikes whizzing to school, to work, to coffee, to the bakery, a small boy riding a Dutch bike 5x his size pedals quickly by us.  “USA!” He screams.  “Do your best!”.  Simply put little guy.  That may have been his only phrase he knew in English, but he could not have been more clear.

We are here.  Racing in Holland.  Doing our best.  There are language barriers, food differences, and skinny roads.  Big girls, big horses, big cows, small rocks, and small roads.  It is all different here.  Yet, one common theme holds us together.  Do your best.  You don’t need a translation for that one.  It is quite simple.  Do your best.  Don’t let up until you have done your best.  Don’t wallow in your mistakes, in your misfortunes.  Get stronger.  Never say die.  Do your best.  Always.

There is no loss in translation in that statement.  Thank you, little Dutch boy.  That was a refreshing reminder.

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