Monday, September 14, 2009

the 618 award

I am awarding myself another honor.
don't you just love how I do this for myself? I figure someone has to do it, and who else is going to do it for me? I know me best; I'll just create my own darn awards for myself.

years ago I was struggling to help my younger son be good. I can't remember all the details, but he was about 8 years old and going through one of those defiant phases. it's been drummed into my head that it's more effective to mold behavior through rewards than by punishment, so I created a program through which he could earn a trophy by being good.
there were certain things he could do to earn points (most of which centered around plain old compliance), and if he earned enough points within a certain time frame he would receive his prize.
I'm pretty sure I did every possible in setting up this program to ensure his victory, and today his gold trophy with a bee atop it (the Be-e Good Award) rests among all his other soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and piano trophies on his bedroom shelf.

rewards can help shape behavior.

thus I am giving myself one.
but I'm not exactly sure of the shape I want to move my behavior toward.
see, the award I'm giving myself is the 618 award.

the lotoja 1000 is an award given those who have completed the ride 5 times during the past 10 years. unfortunately, now that I've ridden 3 times I am 60 percent of the way toward this award . . . and who turns back at that point?
possibly me.
possibly many rational people.
but I'm not sure.
so by deciding to give myself the 618 award, I am either telling myself that 3 is enough, I deserve an award, I can quit now . . . or, I am giving myself encouragement to keep moving forward toward that larger goal.
I'm not exactly sure which way I want myself to be moving, at this point.
I do know that at 72 miles into the ride last saturday, these were the thoughts moving through my brain:
I am never doing this again.
I want to cry.
I am never going to ride my f$&*#@g bike again.

after my recovery ride this morning, I came inside and started typing away about my self-bestowed award.

and that says just about everything you need to know about me, doesn't it?

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