Motivation Is An Enigmatic Bedfellow

By: Matthew Karre May 5

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It really is. The greatest motivator is success, of course. And success is manifested in so many different ways that its umbrella becomes too big to carry and eventually you just set it down on its side on the sidewalk and try to remember where you left it. Financial success is likely the greatest motivator, at least for reality television, most cinema, and commuting in a car 45 minutes each way to a job that you don’t like. But when even the possibility of financial success is removed, what’s the muse? Where’s the impetus? On the bike, with regards to racing, motivation comes from keeping the small candle burning far in the distance that illuminates the sign that reads: Pro. Pro equals success (not necessarily financial, he mentions, smugly). It comes from feeding desires, no matter how ridiculously lofty or attainable. It comes from snowboarding, blue herons, deciduous conifers, goats and other livestock, family (my sister, for example, who is a full foot shorter than I am but will likely make a bigger impact on the world than I will); the quest for gear justification, the quest for any justification, Ghostbusters, solitude, camaraderie, kittens, food and drink, health, fitness, obsession, counter culture and looking good (or saying you don’t care how you look).

It comes from everything else not mentioned but most importantly it doesn’t matter where it comes from as long as it’s there. If it’s not there then what’s the point?

I saw motivation manifested today during a beautiful sunny ride. The scene was equally motivating for me and also more than a little inspiring. To explain the scene would sound dull and overdone. To leave the canvas blank for the viewer to paint is much more effective and useful. I also saw a few of my motivators on this ride: Amy, for anything and everything, always.

Weaver for being one of my favorite people on the planet, with or without a delicious lemon scone.

A photo by Jeff Curtes hanging at the ride-start coffee shop.

The sun and its effects. Jets from Top Gun. Portland. Rolled down arm warmers. Mt. Hood for its scenery and gamble for waist deep snow.

A 16% grade for its beginning, middle and demise.

A passing group ride of other friends (including Jeremy Dunn, even though he’s something of a soft talker and sometimes I can’t hear him very well. Not your fault, buddy.). The I5 bridge slowly enlarging in my view finder as the ride comes to a close.

On a long enough scale, everything will be listed.
And to put it all into perspective, I go, as always, to Ghostbusters:

Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) “Where do those stairs go?”
Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) “They go up.”



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