Monday, June 7, 2010

Where's the fun?

After reading my account of the 67 year old man that just logged 6 million vertical feet skiing in Snowbird, Patrick Wahle, from Toronto, Canada, was impressed by that massive amount of skiing, but wondered about the technicalities involved with accomplishing that feat, like skiing non-stop, weaving through the crowds and lift lines, but most importantly raised a simple and critical question by asking, “where's the fun in doing that?”

In truth, this is something I'd never asked myself and is a pointed question about what motivates certain individuals to seeking records for record-sake. Among some of those, I was wondering about Reinhold Messner the famous Italian mountain climber from South Tyrol, renowned for making the first solo ascents of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and for being the first climber to ascend fourteen "eight-thousanders" (peaks over 8,000 meters) in the Himalayan region.

Was this guy simply pursuing pure fun or just in the business of collecting some unprecedented records? There's always a fine line between fun and obsession; sometimes the former leads to the latter with very little warning and before the performers know it, they become enslaved by some hollow pursuit of their own making. So whether our fancy is skiing, biking or rock-climbing, we always need to stay alert to what motivates us and make certain we don't become another record-producing robot by asking ourselves, every now and then: “Is it still fun?”

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