Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Speed at Any Cost

In a recent interview with Tom Brokaw, Bode Miller said:

"Every competitor has a choice. He can walk up to the starting gate, take a look, and walk away. It would be unprecedented, but he could do it." He went on to say that skiing with joy, fully committed in heart, is more important to him than winning races, ultimately.

So when people choose to ignore their blogs for extended periods, or their boats, or their sailing, I always take it as a reminder that all this might not actually matter all that much in the broader context of a life. Maybe they are so far down a rabbit hole in some other area of existence that this seems trivial by comparison. Maybe someone got sick or died, or got married, or got a new job. Had a kid, bought a house. Discovered nuclear fusion, started a company. Found something cooler to do with their spare time, or figure out.

When I finally build my latest scheme and make it work, I doubt it will count for much - even if it is fast. But that doesn't make it any less fun. And that is where Mr. Miller's comment rings true for me: things done with heart somehow count for more than things done simply because someone else thinks you should care about doing them well. And that philosophy, more than anything else, is what will probably continue to differentiate development class sailors from everyone else in the sailing world - no matter what aspect of the design, build and sail endeavor they choose to tackle.

I've never seen anyone sail a whole race, come down to the finish in first, then not cross the line. But I would applaud the sentiment.