Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How Far Would You Go if No One Could Know?

Here’s a quick test to find out the real motivator for your outdoor passion:  How far would you ride, what grade would you climb, or what trail would you hike, if no one could ever know about it?

Think about it: you couldn’t post the Strava map on Facebook. You couldn’t Instagram the fist bump pic at the peak (you know, the one with the panoramic view of the valley behind you). You wouldn't even tell your spouse or your roommate.

You just go out there and ride, climb, or hike. And then… you go home and resume your life. You’re allowed to enjoy the memories, of course, and the ache in your muscles. If someone asks what you did with your day, you’re fine to say, “I went hiking,” or climbing, or whatever.

You just can’t tell them how much you did.

If they ask, you can’t answer directly. Say something like, “I don’t know, I forgot to start the tracking app. It was a beautiful day, though.” (If you’re public on Strava, you actually couldn’t start the app, because your followers would see the results.)

Okay. Now. How much would you really do? Would it be as much as you’re planning for this weekend? 

Why do we ritually tell people how much we’ve done after we go out there? Is there really any way to describe it other than bragging? Why do event organizers offer the right to do just that as an incentive to sign up, when the simple fact is that people who brag are really unappealing? They’re insecure and passively aggressive. They make us feel insecure, too. If I’ve not done as much as they have, I feel small. If I’ve done more than they have, I feel better than them, and that’s worse. I mean, I have to worry about them catching up with me the next time I head out for a ride. And the time after that. And if I stay ahead of them for a long time, then, hey--what about the person still ahead of me? Aggh! I’m still small!

Give a little thought to your motivation before you head out this weekend. If you're really curious, try promising yourself not to share the stats… with anyone. Check out how that affects your experience.

You may even find yourself asking others more about their experiences and less about their numbers. Unthinkable!

No comments:

Post a Comment