Someone asked me the other day what my vices were. I had to stop and think about it then, and I am still thinking about it now. I don't subscribe to the most common ones. The discussion turned to my (as Hunter Thompson put it) "affinity for speed". Apparently, in some circles, speed is thought of as a vice. And those who seek it are called "adrenaline junkies". I was not aware the depths of my depravity.
Dictionary.com defines vice as "an immoral or evil habit or practice" also "a fault, defect or shortcoming".
That definition and the moniker "adrenaline junkie" seem so far away from my concept of speed I felt the need to dedicate this post to it. So what then, separates the desire to go fast from womanizing? Boozing? Overeating? Smoking? Chasing the dragon? Why do some of us, myself included, look at it as more of a holy crusade than a damning iniquity? What follows is what I was able to come up with.
Speed, for true adherents, is not an addiction, but a quest, something not taken lightly or entered into on a whim. In and of itself not an inherent death sentence or destroyer of morals or character. Quite the opposite. While there are risks, the rewards far outweigh them.
It calls upon us to become the best versions of ourselves we can imagine, to prepare, to train, to plan. To constantly rise above arbitrary limits set by others, as well as our own. It fosters study, knowledge, creativity and self-reflection, instead of dulling the senses and mind. It is a skill and an art that must be finely honed. One which suffers no "faults", "defects" or "shortcomings". Rather than covering those things up, it only spotlights them and insists on resolution.
No one questions the sprinter when they seek to be the fastest, or the swimmer or the bicyclist. Why should it be any different then, for the motorcycle racer? Can it kill you? Sure, but many more people die in bed every year. Perhaps sleeping is a vice?
In the end, a true vice limits your capabilities, your potential and ultimately takes away from the quality of your life. Speed and racing in general offer tremendous possibilities for exactly the opposite.
Never slow down.
|Debauching myself with a bit of knee dragging at Road Atlanta 2015|