Line in the Sand

The idea to go to Dakar has been cooking for a while, but it wasn’t really an intention until this spring, and it wasn’t a commitment until after the Raid de’l’Amitie in April. Now it’s public, and everyone I know and many people I don’t are aware that I’m working on this. I’ve drawn a line that is my goal, and the question becomes if everything I have to give is going to be enough to get to the finish. At some level, that’s the core question that attracts me to the race- it’s a big challenge, and I want to see where I stand relative to it.

In addition, because I’m asking for help from people, there’s an intense pressure not to let people down. When I step back, I know that I was proud of the guys I contributed to, even if they made it only to the 3rd or 4th stage, but I won’t be happy with myself at that outcome. I want to finish the race, and I think I can finish the race with just a little good luck. I’ve spent years studying it pretty closely, and I didn’t make the decision to go until I felt very sure that I had what it took. But, I might be wrong.

If I’ve overestimated my own abilities, I think I can handle that, but what will be crushing is bad mechanical luck, having the chance to finish taken away from me. At some level, there’s no such thing as mechanical luck, but of course, in the real world, there are situations that are so many standard deviations out, they may as well be luck for all you can prepare for them.

For me, the stress of the situation seems to come out as lists, lists, and more lists, and making sure that every day, I set those lists aside and take some actions that move the bar forward even a little bit. Every day needs to be another step toward the goal, and lists don’t count.

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