I had prepared a post about what lessons I drew from giving up sweets for three months. However while proof reading it (I’m making a concerted effort to actually do that)I realized two things. The post sucked and my heart wasn’t in it. There are other things on my mind, though they are related.
The subject of personal evolution is a common theme here, one that is very close to my heart. One that I actually try to center my life around. That’s what the writing is about. That’s what, if I’m being honest, the bike is really about. Thinking back on it, I pretty sure that everything I’ve ever been into was with the hope of brining me to a different place in life. An attempt to improve who I am. When I look back on it, I see that this pursuit was the determining factor in what could be described as my odd interests when I was younger.
Around the age of twelve I became obsessed with “Extreme Sports”. In the early nineties things like Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Climbing were starting to work themselves into the mainstream. I became enamored with these things in part because they were so different from what I knew.
Another factor (with the benefit of hindsight of course.) was that I saw these things as a way to push myself beyond what I knew. Beyond the self perception I had at the time. I thought these things (snowboarding, climbing, MTB) were uncontrollably cool because they contained this component of over coming. I know that these activities seem banal now, but in 1991 they were from another world, another universe and in them I saw away to become a better version of myself. These same principles also informed my early explorations into Buddhism and Martial Arts and Shintoism. Though I wasn’t smart enough to understand that at the time.
That is probably the main reason I choose running Cross Country over playing football, further alienating myself from the people I grew up with. Then, like now I took solace in the fact that what I was doing was harder than what everyone else was doing. It hurt and it was something the people I grew up with weren’t willing to subject themselves too. I felt tougher than they were, even if the year before they were kicking ass a over the place.
These very ideas are the reason I race. The reason I write really (I’ve kept notebooks on and off since I was ten years old.). I’m constantly driving to improve myself, thus the pressure I put on myself is high. Sometime its so crippling that I do nothing, which sets up a whole other cycle of self hate that I won’t touch on here.
I guess the point of this is that when we score a personal victory, like getting your writing some place other than your own blog, you need to double down and increase your efforts rather than sit on your accomplishment. I set a goal to publish (else where) “x” number of pieces. I’ve marked two of those now (I have a project coming out in late spring) doesn’t mean I can relax. Just because I made it through my A race doesn’t mean I can relax my training. If and when I upgrade I can’t suddenly say “I made it, that’s enough”. In fact, it only gets that much harder. Meaning you have to try that much harder.
That’s never giving up. That’s constantly striving for more. That’s what brings about personal evolution. That’s the most important thing.