I firmly believe that if you have one good friend out there, you are very lucky. I am very lucky, I have had 3 friends continuously since college. Scott, the Mudsucker, I’ve known for over 30 Years, Dave and Jim very close to it! There are others like Stacy, Jenna and Kristina that I love dearly, but I lost them and found them again just recently. The three guys, though, have been there the whole time!
I bring this up for a reason. Just because you have been together through the ups and down of 3 decades, doesn’t mean you truly understand why a person does the things he does.
My case in point is Dave. He is forever busting my chops for using my legs to transport me places that a good, street-legal dirt bike could get me in a fraction of the time! Now I know part of this in is simply flipping me crap (as I do him for MANY things) but I am also pretty damn sure part of it is truly he has no idea why I do the things I do.
I’ve hiked for hours with 40 lb packs on my back for “training climbs”. I used to run daily, regardless of the weather, to get ready for the Sound-to-Narrows, or the Seattle Half Marathon. Last year, he followed my training for the one day, 206 mile Seattle to Portland. He saw me post that I had to get to the finish line by 9 PM. Being curious he asked “What happens if you miss the 9 o’clock deadline?” “I don’t get the one day patch”, said I. “That’s it???” I could see him shaking his head…
Now before I go on and people thing I am dissing Dave, the man is amazing. Have torch will travel, he can weld or McGyver ANYTHING (someday I will tell the story of his marriage proposal.) He can also beachcomb the shore of a lake and BUILD a water ski from the flotsam on the beach, and ride it! He is also one helluva dirt biker, and my skydiving partner. He just doesn’t believe in human-powered transportation when there is perfectly good internal combustion available!
So anyway, the reason for this post… Why do I do the stuff I do…
Well first off, I won’t lie, I love being able to go to work and say “Yawn, oh I rode 100 miles, or biked the Oregon coast, or climbed Mt St Helens” when people ask “What did you do on your day off?” Its fun to see the double take!
But the reasons go SO much deeper. I am truly afraid of being old and feeble. It scares the crap out of me. I never want to be too old to do the stuff I like to do. I don’t want to have to worry about not being fast enough to cross the street before the lights turn. I won’t even discuss how much something like dementia scares me. So my theory is the more I keep doing stuff, the better shape I keep myself in, the better chance I have to stave of feebleness… (if it aint true don’t tell me!)
I am also petrified of getting fat and flabby. I once saw a guy at Disneyland who walked from Peter Pan to Snow White. About 200 feet. He had to sit down and rest. That was 17 years ago, and its one of my most vivid memories of Mickey’s place. I see the kind of shape some of the people are even in Seattle. Given how much I love pasta, cookies, brownies and cheese, I have no choice but to work out. Otherwise, I’d have to buy two seats when I flew on a plane, and I’d never get to ride Splash Mountain again.
So bragging rights, and abject fear are two things than make me take the rides I do, but is that enough?
No, the most important part is dammit, its fun. I enjoyed the hell out of the ride this weekend, I had never taken my bike to the Carbon River. It was gorgeous! If I wasn’t a hiker I never would have seen things like this:
We won’t discuss the point I was standing in front of a sign that said “Danger Don’t Stand Here!” when I took this.
I do what I do, because it is truly rewarding to me, physically, mentally, and as much as I like to say I am cold and callous, even spiritually! I have seen and experienced things that very few of the people I know have ever done. I am damn lucky to have a wife who loves me, supports me and understands how important these things are to me. I love you babe!
So, I know people are going to continue asking why, but now at least y’all now know Why I Do What I Do!