Something to live for
never been one to buy into New Year's resolutions or setting personal
goals. Most of my life has been, basically, career driven. I also figured
that if I were successful in my professional life, the personal stuff
would fall into to place. Don't get me wrong -- my personal life is
important, after all I'm writing this on a plane to Las Vegas while the
rest of the All-OffRoad crew are already there hanging on to their XRs as
they fly through the 106 degree heat in the Las Vegas desert. Why? Because
I chose my daughter's first birthday party instead of attending an epic
send-off ride for Bryce (you see this Las Vegas trip is his bachelor
party; he's the last to get hitched and this is probably the last of a
series of unbelievable bachelor parties). Anyway, the point I'm headed
towards is that I've always had an idea of what I wanted out of my
personal life but never really worked for it -- it just fell into place.
All in all, this isn't as bad as it may sound to some. However, all that's
I ramble much further I'd like to touch on the topic of competition. I
believe in winning. I'll do whatever it takes to win and I rarely follow
the rules. I'll follow them if convenient. I'll bend them if I want to,
and I'll just plain ignore them if that's what it takes. The bottom line
is that if I don't think I will win, I won't bother to play. Many consider
this an unhealthy attitude. I get a little annoyed by it and had been
hoping to not pass it on to my kids. However, this attitude has also
changed, a little.
June I entered my first off-road competition. If you read the June and
July issues you already know all about that. That was an incredibly hard
thing for me to do. Why? Because I knew I could never win. If I couldn't
win, why bother? Well, at the time, I wasn't really sure. It was mostly an
ego thing. George sorta harassed me about it and, most likely after a
couple beers, I ended up agreeing to it. Once I'd gone that far, I
couldn't back out. That, I think, was a good thing. It certainly changed
my outlook on things a bit.
decided that if I couldn't win I'd consider myself a winner if I passed at
least one person. After all, that would mean that I didn't lose. Well, not
wanting to go into the details again, I did pass several people but I
didn't finish. According to the club they had about 160 entries with 135
finishers. George and I were part of the 25 that took a DNF (Did Not
Finish). The problem with this is that I took the easy way out. It was too
convenient not to finish, and it has been grating on me ever since. It's
bothered me so much that I changed my fundamental philosophy of life (more
on this in a later HighSides). Actually the DNF was only part of it.
Before entering the enduro, I set two goals for myself. This in itself was
unusual. More importantly, I succeeded in completing those goals and even
more important than that, I got a rush from the feeling.
Setting goals and meeting them are not that unusual for me. I do it on a daily basis at work. Somehow that's completely different. When the goals are work-related, they must be done, it's not an option, and that's a big part of the difference. In my mind, it doesn't take any sort of personal commitment, it just happens. On the other hand, personal goals require a great deal of personal commitment because there are virtually no consequences for not completing them. However, the pay-off seems to be much more satisfying . . .