Talking, Planning, Doing
Anything is possible to achieve on the internet. Talk is the only requirement. I’m thinking about riding insert whole lots of miles here this year. I’m planning to do insert impressive event here. Articulated aspirations can make us heroes in our own minds.
Planning also has its place. I’m planning to do insert impressive event here. These are the steps I’ve planned out to get me to the starting line. I’ll be sharing my journey with whoever will read or listen to me over the next few months.
Doing is another matter. Doing is where the talk means little and planning is put to the test. During the doing, aspects that couldn’t be planned for are thrown in, just to make insert impressive event here even more exciting and unforgettable.
I usually prefer to keep my insert impressive event plans quiet. They are not secret, exactly, but I like to hold them close.
I do that for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t want to come across like I’m bragging about something I haven’t even done yet. Second, I don’t want anyone disrupting my energy or casting weird vibes about my participation in any planned endeavor.
This year’s Appalachian Adventure 1000K is one of the first events I talked a fair amount about in advance of actually doing it. I thought it would be a good experiment.
Just as sharing a goal may come across as boastful, it can also make it more real and increase a person’s sense of accountability to it.
By publicly stating that we’d be riding the 1000K, there was an additional impetus for me to commit to finishing it. From a writing standpoint, I liked sharing our rides in the context of the 1000K being our end goal.
Given that we were also pre-riding the Appalachian Adventure 1000K in its inaugural year, I wanted to do some real-time updates and visuals of the route via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I had done similar updates during PBP, but not for a long domestic randonneuring event.
What would an endurance event look like as I was doing it? How would I talk about it as it was happening? How many followers would I lose by posting pics of stinky, sleep-deprived bike riders instead of cleverly captioned photos of kittens?
Talking about the ride as we rode the course was okay, but it took some energy. Whenever we stopped, I had to get into the habit of extricating my phone and snapping a photo. I would then try to post the image, and sometimes reception was sketchy or non-existent.
And then I would find myself wondering if this was really purposeful or if I was just driving myself crazy/showing my narcissistic side/inviting some kind of unknown trouble by sharing our ride progress. (These are long rides, you know, so you have ample time to really delve into these sorts of things.)
Talk can be motivating, and the planning for insert impressive event here is usually more than half the fun of the execution of the actual event. The joy of the journey and all that. Talking about and sharing the event as it happens can also be rewarding, especially when somebody sends a shout-out back your way.
However, if there is no movement behind the talk, then what is the point. The doing is the real effort, the culmination of all preparations and plans– a lesson I learned once again as I endured the pain point of our recent ride. Ultimately, doing will outweigh all our talk.