Thursday, June 12, 2008

2008 PA 1000K is Open for Registration, plus Musings on Purpose

Details here...

...and I'm seriously considering it. Even though it's called the "Endless Mountains" edition.

It's interesting...I was recently asked what I get out of this, other than "lots of climbing and a pat on the back". It's a good question indeed, and I really don't have a good answer, or at least not an inclusive one.

To some extent, it's a chance to prove to myself that I can overcome adversity (albeit self-imposed). It's almost a form of exercise, wherein I'm strengthening my resolve and my willpower, much like physical exercise strengthens my muscles and bones. (The logical comparison between this degree of exercise of my will and, say, muscular bodybuilding to the point of becoming musclebound does not escape me...)

On another level, it ties into fatherhood. I want my son to be able to look at his dad and see someone who's willing to do something different; to see someone who takes joy in life through doing, not merely surviving; and to be UTTERLY appalled by his old man wearing bike shorts and tight jerseys in the presence of his friends. I hope that, even if the specifics of the hobby do not interest him, the willingness and necessity to self-motivate are applied in whatever he chooses to do.

Heck, some of it is simply ego gratification. Whether it be external or internal, the recognition of an achievement shared by very few people in the world is quite intoxicating; and, much like other drugs, you have to take more and more to get the same effect as you become acclimatized. This is readily apparent in my case; even thoughts of RAAM qualification, which would have been laughable a year ago, now seem (almost) reasonable.

I dunno...not really sure if I've answered the question, even to my own satisfaction. Let's sacrifice precision for accuracy:
I do it because I like it, and because I like myself better for doing it.

Update: Heh...and then I read this on Veloquent not 2 minutes after posting my meanderings...

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