In the matrix of personality types used by Gretchen Rubin — upholder, obliger, rebel, and questioner — I am a full-on upholder. That means when I say I am going to do something either to myself or to others, I feel compelled to do it. Not doing it will cause me not insignificant internal dissonance. It also means I don’t fully align with people who are not upholders, something that I still require some work on.
As I have mentioned, I have started a totally unreasonable quest: Master Ski Racing at Park City. This is a 5-days-a-week, between 2- to 4-hour commitment daily for the season. Learning new things, especially new physical things, is fantastically energizing. Surfing, skating, African dance, and martial arts have all been learned since my mid-30s. This is somewhat different, in that there is a program. With surfing, I would just show up; there was no accountability. This, however, has a schedule, a progression, and coaches who are there for me even if I don’t show up. So I must show up. This means that 20 hours of my week, between driving, getting the gear on, and actual on-snow work is now gone from my week. Mental.
So far I can do it and, because of my upholder disposition, I sort of have to. It means when I am at work, time is short and I am super focused. It means that I need to be in bed by 8:15 in order to get my 8.5 hours of sleep so that I can recover from what is a highly mentally and physically demanding activity. This may seem crazy, and I can assure you that when I show up at 7 am in the dark to ski gates under the lights and the temp is 8 degrees, that is exactly how it feels: like I am a crazy person.
On the plus side, my skiing is improving at an astonishing rate, which is not so much about anything innate to me; if one does anything this much with world-class instruction, one will improve. But why? This sort of falls into the category of why people climb mountains: because they are there and, of course, because I said I was going to do it.
To all you rebels, questioners, and obligers in the world, I get that you also have issues, but now you can understand a bit of the quandary we upholders get ourselves into.
Onward and upward,