Pedal the Plains is looking for a handful of correspondents to blog about their training and about their ride.
I kind of figured that since that’s what I’ve already started doing, that would make me a good fit, right? So I entered their contest of sorts. They had each of us submit pictures and then people can vote for the eight of us who have applied. The last couple of days I’ve been in campaign mode, asking friends and people in certain forums I’m part of to vote for me. I won’t go through that here as most who read this would have already seen my plea for votes elsewhere.
This whole thing though has me asking myself why I’d go out begging for votes. I mean, really, what does this accomplish for me? I get the opportunity to blog about my training and my ride… well, I’m already doing this. I get an entry into the ride… ummmm, I’ve already registered. So what’s this all about? Maybe the question could be broadened into why do this blogging?
And hey, any kind of inner questioning like that is always good fodder for a blog post, right?
I’m sure there’s the ‘look at me’ aspect. Maybe I can impress some people with what I have to say. Maybe I’m digging for some validation by doing this. I can dig for a bit of attention, maybe impress people with what I’m doing. It’s not the most glamorous explanation, but I’m sure there’s an element of truth to it.
Part of the deal is, I think I’ve got something to say. It’s not that anything I have to say is any more important than anyone else’s two cents worth, but it’s more that if I’ve learned anything from my experiences and perspectives, maybe someone else can benefit as well.
I think this is particularly the case with my situation when it comes to health and diet and activity. I’ve been somewhere that I honestly didn’t think I would ever get out of. And while there are areas that I’m probably not a lot further along than when I started this whole blog, I can tell you that I never would have dreamt that I could ride a bike up a mountain road at 10,000 feet without feeling like I was about to die. If you had told the 393 pound me that couldn’t run two steps to get out of a downpour that I would one day do something like that, or that I would complete a half marathon, or anything like that, that might have been kind of inspiring to me, you know? Okay, reality is I probably would have laughed in your face. But there came a time where I decided enough was enough and I wanted to do better. Yeah, it’s nice to say look at me, look what I’ve been able to do, and I won’t like that I really enjoy the pats on the back for something like that. But I also know there are others who are where I’ve been. Maybe that’s all they need to see, is here’s this guy who was in their very shoes and feeling really, really defeated. Because that might help someone see it doesn’t always have to be that way.
I think there’s another piece to it all.
Hey, if I’m chosen as one of their bloggers, that makes it pretty official that I’m doing this. And while maybe I like to have eyes on me and get attention through this thing called blogging, if I bail on this and don’t live up to the training and don’t see this thing through, all of a sudden having all those eyes on me can be pretty uncomfortable. I’m happy to trumpet my successes. I’m not so sure I want to trumpet my failures, and that can be pretty good motivation not to fail.
So for all the “I want to inspire people” talk, the reality is probably more that blogging is kind of a selfish endeavor, at least for me. But maybe when it’s all said and done, if it helps me succeed in getting further along, for all the selfishness maybe it still can help someone else along?
I hope so.