Thursday, August 23, 2012

to stoop and build again with worn out tools

It has been nearly a month since I wrote a piece for this blog.  I had my laptop stolen (from a room at La Quinta - don't ever stay there) and I am afraid that it significantly dampened my enthusiasm for writing.  Or at least that is the story I told myself.  Loose a favorite tool and it becomes the end and the means rolled into one.  Tools have a funny connection to our psyche.   We acquire more of them we need.  Tell ourselves that we need them to be successful.  We use their imperfections and/or their absence as an excuse.  We covet those of others.  We fill our garages, cars, homes and lives with them.  While there is no question that the right tool is important for the right job... we take it too far.  Case in point - my stolen laptop and month of not writing.  We have plenty of other computers in the house.  I am using one right now.  It is often very difficult to remember that there are times when one tool is just as good as another.  Even harder is to know the difference between the times when you have legitimately outgrown a tool and when you are just being acquisitive.  I have lots of trouble with that.

I recently retired a tool that I told myself I had outgrown.  My super-bad-ass-road-bike (built by yours truly) is for sale and has already been replaced.  I think I probably did "outgrow" it.  I kept getting passed in triathlons like I was standing still.  It is too heavy for the level of racing I am doing (or so I tell myself).  I bought a new tool.  A lighter, faster, and far more expensive Cinelli road bike.  Another tool for the garage.  I tell myself a story that I am going to sell the old one.  I even put it on Craigslist ( if you want to check it out).  But let's be real... when you buy a new tool do you really ever get rid of the old one?

I get a chance to put the new tool to use this weekend.  The Mormon Lake Road Race - 70 miles at 8500 feet.  Biggest, baddest, toughest race that I have done yet.  It is on Sunday.  New tool, new race.  Saturday I have an open water 2k swimming race in Lake Pleasant.  For that race, I will be using the same old well worn tool - me.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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