In gravity sports, there's simply no faking it. If I show up to the parking lot with a bike and talk the talk, at some point, I'm gonna have to back it up and walk the walk, or more aptly, ride. And as a rider, mechanic, and trail builder, I've earned the respect of my peers; they're the ones that can tell if I can pass the bullshit test or not. And getting there has been years and years of effort and practice.

Agile is a set of patterns and approaches that simply does not tolerate mediocrity or the status quo. As an agilist, I cannot simply spout off about all the incredible improvements agile adoption will bring. It's just not that simple. I have to be in it with the individuals and teams I work with as they struggle to figure it all out.

This month, I attended participated in the Scrum Alliance Global Gathering in Las Vegas as a volunteer coach in the Coaching Clinic and also presenter of two sessions in the Open Space. And I found that everyone I talked to that's in the trenches is, well, in the trenches. Like that squiggly line, the path is absolutely not straightforward.

Because it's not enough to know agile. I have to live it. I have to breathe it. I have to be willing to bleed it. Agile is a bit primal like that; once people get a taste, a glimpse of what is possible, they simply cannot and will not go back, squiggly line or not.

Perhaps this is why I am drawn to the edge, as one of my co-workers said "you manage to get yourself into some interesting situations." I am most alive at the edge of possibility, for myself, my family, for the teams I work with.

I went for my fourth mountain bike ride of the season this morning. The climb sucked. Kicked my ass. I ended up pushing my bike the last quarter of the way up the hill as my legs just didn't have the strength needed to pedal; I burned through all my excuses, though the question lingered: "is this biking thing worth it?"

And I had to ask myself, as I'm pushing 40 years of age (and the first rides of spring get harder each year) if I'm still in the game. I honestly couldn't give a clear answer on the way up (though I remember that I ask the same thing every year and it's always been worth it). However. And this is a big "however" to me: as soon as I pointed the bike back down, and what took me close to an hour to climb flew under my tires in mere minutes, the answer the entire time was a resounding "YES!!!" even more "FUCK YEAH, IT IS!!!"

Is agile worth it? Is it worth removing impediment after impediment? Is it worth coaching and witnessing and meeting teams and individuals where they are so they can follow that squiggly path to where they want and need to be? So far, the answer is "YES!!!" even more "FUCK YEAH, IT IS!!!"


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