"WHY" People & "WHY NOT" People: Each have their strengths!
Going to the White Continent was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not only is it incredibly beautiful and wild and surreal to be there, but the people I had the privilege of traveling with made it truly exceptional. We descended on the little gravel landing strip with incredible anticipation of what camping and running a marathon, half marathon, or 50k in this inhospitable place would be. Only our fearless leader, Steve Hibbs of Marathon Adventures and a select few others knew what to expect because they'd been there before.
This is where I learned something (I know, I know...don't get all excited everyone).
There are two kinds of people: 'WHY?" people and "WHY NOT?" people.
Now sure, this is a generalization of attitudes that I happen to observe in my own experiences, but let me tell you, when you have a concentration of people that are willing to pay loads of money to go to a place that very people can go, and then run (by choice), that's pretty exceptional. The more I got to know these amazing individuals and what they'd accomplished, the more inspired I was and noticed a commonality among them. They were "WHY NOT?" people.
These are the people that are asked "Why would you do such a thing ( by "WHY" people)?" and they answer "WHY NOT?" Now this isn't to say that "WHY NOT?" people don't consider that their goal may be expensive or time consuming or challenging in some way. As a "WHY NOT?" person, I promise I consider these things. But the "WHY NOT" people tend to envision the experience first, even for a split second, the cost and challenges don't matter. It's an experience that wouldn't even occur to them to pass up.
"WHY" people are no different, but they tend to consider all the things that go along with it and are either (to be blunt) not able to see a clear path to the end goal and don't like that, or think the work that would go into achievement may not be worth it (and who knows...maybe they're right!). They may be less impulsive and considerate of the big picture, while the "WHY NOT?" people may be bigger risk-takers, make bigger sacrifices, and think about the satisfaction of having the experience first before the sacrifices or costs that go along with it.
Both have their absolute strengths and I seem to praising the "WHY NOT?" people a bit here because I just spent two weeks with a bunch of them, but believe me, those "WHY?" people have a few qualities I envy! Many of the "WHY NOT?" runners had completed 7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 days (known as the Triple 7 Quest), which is something most people would consider ludicrous.
So whether you're a "WHY?" person or a "WHY NOT?" person, you have qualities that compliment the other. I just found it interesting that in athletes I happened to see a very large amount of "WHY NOT's?" and it's one of the reasons I made athletes my "people." Many of them make me believe anything is possible, and I feel lucky to be pushed and inspired by them. It's absolutely liberating to worry about nothing else but living in the moment and enjoying every second of wherever you happen to be right then. Whether it's watching an other-worldly sunset or finishing your first Ironman, we all have those moments that make us believe that "WHY NOT?" is a better question.