Monday, 18 May 2015
The Three Why's Men
When asked why we do extreme stuff I find it comes is three flavours.
The first is usually followed by a statement. "Why? You do know that it's a lot easier in a car?" There is no adequate response to this "why" save to make a flippant reply and smile dismissively. The asker has no understanding, appreciation or interest in our endeavours. It's simply a shallow form of humour born of a need to exercise ones vocal cords while disengaging their ears and minds.
The second kind of 'Why' is interested. But more so in understanding what makes us tick. They do not connect viscerally with the activity or have any desire to replicate our experiences. They are keen to gain an intellectual understanding of why someone would subject themselves to what, in their minds, seems amazing, edgy, perhaps even a tad foolhardy, but ultimately jolly interesting. Having sated their curiosity they nod knowingly and over the course of the next week or two they ply their friends with the tales and adventures of an adventure addict they bumped into.
The third 'why' enquirer is far more incisive. They might not understand the full depth of the how's and why's of extreme pursuits but they are keen to unravel the process with a view perhaps of going down that road themselves.
I use the word 'process' deliberately because 'extreme' is exactly that. Something you have just completed is oft no longer considered extreme. We will explore the compounding nature of 'more' in the context of extreme in the next instalment.
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- Johannesburg, South Africa
- Just an ordinary guy who started riding in 2005 at the age of 45. I started with the ambition of completing the local 94.7 Cycle Challenge (94.7km). This is an annual road cycle race in and around Johanesburg. Some where along the way it become a race and not merely a completion excercise. I clocked a 2h54 in my first attempt only 6 months from my first trundle down the road and back. I was hooked and then discovered the magic of MTB. While my efforts on the road were credible, MTBing humbled me. Having said that, over the last 24 months I have competed in 9 multi-day events. I'm a very middle of the field rider, but I enjoy every minute of it.