The Black Knight takes a ferry

At what point does quitting become an option? Do you pre-plan to give up?

I am 16% into my coaching certification program. On the same day at the same time for 25 weeks, I’m committed to a confidential conference call with my coaching cohorts. No excuses. If you want to develop further as a Co-Active Coach, you mean business! It matters to me. So when I found out that a work-related trip coincided with the call time, I did everything within my power to keep my commitment.

In the end, I was nowhere near a landline phone and no quiet room. I was in my car on a ferry from Vancouver Island back to the mainland with only my recently-purchased, fully-charged cell phone. The good thing is that the ferry crossing time perfectly coincided with the conference call time, so the call wouldn’t be interrupted with either loading or unloading. Maybe things would work out!

As I waited to make the call, I realized that the ferry engine might drown out what I could hear. Fortunately, I brought my noise-cancellation earphones. Oh, wait, did my cell phone even have a headphone jack? YES! Weird, I’d never noticed it before. Things were looking up. I tested it by calling my home phone… I could hear clearly. Then I realized that the engine noise might interfere with what the other people could hear. What were the chances of my cell phone having a mute button? Apparently, the chances were more than excellent. It had a mute button. I’d unmute only when I needed to speak. Things were really looking up. Nothing is getting in the way of this call!

Time to call.
Dialling in…
Say my hellos. Sound is crystal clear.
Call gets dropped.

Repeat dialling in, connect, say a few words.
Call gets dropped again.
Double rats!

No coverage.

Fifteen minutes (and many “____ rats”) later, I finally gave up. I could manage everything possible on my end, but the cell phone coverage gods just didn’t smile on me that day. Couldn’t take another ferry as I was carpooling with my client. I felt like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail who kept on fighting even after losing both arms and both legs. He still had fight in him – he still had his teeth! But let’s face it, if you ain’t got cell phone coverage, you ain’t making any calls. THAT was my unplanned “game over” point.

How easily do you let circumstances pre-shape how things might go before you’ve even tried finding solutions, possibilities, and alternatives?