Short Term Memories

I’ve noticed nowadays that conversations I am having with people, that in the past would have been nothing out of the ordinary, now result in my walking away thinking “HUH, that would be a decent subject for a blog post…” 

Well that happened at work a few days ago when I was talking to Bridget in the lunch room at work.  We were talking about rides in general, and we talked about how tired we can be at the end of a long ride.  Then she said the phrase that made me start thinking about this post.  “It’s a good thing we forget how hard things are, otherwise we might never do it again…” 

She’s right!  There have been times I have been in the middle of an endeavor, be it a climb, run, hike or ride, and I can distinctly remember saying “If (sometimes it is not when but if) I finish this thing I will NEVER do it again!”  Case in point the Highpass Challenge.  Two years ago I was pushing it, digging deep for everything I had left.  Splitting my remaining water between drinking and pouring it over my head.  (it was 90 outside.)  When I knew I was going to make the time cut off, I KNOW I said never again! 

This spring I found myself wondering if I could get a silver medal instead of a bronze if I did it again… 

I HATED getting out of a sleeping bag at midnight on a glacier to climb a mountain.  It just seems wrong…  Loved the stars (the second time when I finally thought about looking up) but it still seemed wrong.  I tried Rainier 4 times!  And it wasn’t till the wakeup call in the subsequent attempts that I would say “OH YEAH!  This is the part I didn’t like!” 

I know I told Michelle that after doing the Seattle to Portland (STP) in one day, I was done with the ride…  Yep you guessed, I’ve started wondering if I could better my time…   Why not!  Who doesn’t love 15 hours on a bike! 

I also believe your mind erases certain aspects of what we do as well!  Again, with the STP, I found myself going UP a steep hill going into Napavine.  Now I gotta tell ya, not only do I not remember the hill (I said to myself “Who built this damn hill??), I somehow blocked out the whole town of Napavine.  Granted its not a big town, and I do remember the long downhill afterwards, but the uphill slog into it and the town itself, nope, did not exist last time (and yep I checked, same route….)  I remembered all the other towns…. 

It doesn’t need to be an athletic event for this to happen.  Recently I was looking at some pictures and saw a Roller Coaster at Silverwood theme park and I saw Aftershock!  I immediately started thinking THAT looks like fun again!  I should go!!  The youngest kid and I had a blast!  Then he pointed out, “Hey I thought after the 3rd time you almost puked, you were done!”   Oh yeah forgot.  Or Disneyland in general, “OH yeah it will be a blast!  Love Disney and everything about it!”   But then you get there and you remember  “Oh yeah, the crowds and lines suck, who are all these people and why are they here when I am!”

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 Even TV shows or movies.  I am going to show my age here, but I used to watch Land of the Lost when I was a kid (there was a recent Will Farrell remake, stunk!)  Cartoon network had a marathon of the old ones on one day.  I gathered the kids to watch with me!  You will love it!!  (I was heard to say…)  OK, yeah not so much, it was a terrible show!!!  (On this I will take a bit of a mulligan, I was 35 years ago!!) 

How many of us have said “I WILL NEVER DRINK AGAIN!” while experiencing a hangover…… (but wait, alcohol kills brain cells, this may not be a good example….) 

I am sure all of us can come up with examples of when this has happened to us.  And think, those things that you remember NOT so fondly and know you will NEVER do again (My one halfathon!) must have really stunk.  Otherwise we would have forgotten the bad parts and going out again! 

I started wondering why our minds work that way.  Is it a trait passed down from cavemen.  Tog and Mog, hunter gatherers, go out hunting for saber tooth tigers, and each, though bloody and battered bring one home!  Mamog, the cavewoman, is very excited to get fur coats and dangly tooth earrings from the both!  

Mog, being the smarter(?) one, thinks to himself “Ooga, booga, unga umgawa!”  (Which translated for those of us in the future means “THAT sucked!  I am never doing that again, next time I will gather acorns!”)  

Tog on the other hand, as soon as the wounds heal, starts thinking, “Hell that wasn’t so bad, I wonder if I can get a bigger cat, or even a cave bear!” 

As both are competing for Mamog’s affections (and cavewomen were MUCH more materialistic than ladies who read my blog today!) the offerings of acorns just couldn’t compete with fur coats.  Tog got the girl, and passed down through the eons of time, the ability to block out the worst parts of the adventures! 

I for one owe that caveman a huge thank you!  Every year I sign up for something new, and even more challenging than the year before.  I don’t think about the training involved, the hours on the bike, the rides in the shed, the crappy weather I will endure, I just think about the crossing the finish line, and the feeling of accomplishment when I am successful.  Hmmm maybe it’s not that we just forget, maybe, just maybe, the feeling at the end makes it all worth it!   

Either way, I think I still owe Tog a beer!

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