Economic Cycles

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The ‘Who Cares, You’re Not Paid’ Hypocrisy

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I’ve never understood the charge levied against competitive road cyclists (and other endurance athletes) that they should care less about the training they do and the sport they love because “they don’t get paid doing it.” My buddy never forgets to remind me, “you don’t even make enough to buy the gas that gets you to the race.” This sentiment is utterly mind-boggling.

First, consider every single other hobby in the world right now that people engage in. Skiing, adult softball leagues, video games, art, photography, poetry, playing an instrument, etc. Does a competitive cyclist’s devotion eclipse those in these other activities? Are we really that much more into what we do than them? Do we spend much more time and money on cycling than a guitar player on his guitars? Than a golfer on his clubs, lessons, and getaways?

Why does no one say to the hardcore skier, “why do you spend so much money and time on skiing when you are not being paid to ski?” Indeed, the hardcore skier spends thousands per year on gear, travel, passes, special trips and the like, plus hundreds of hours getting to the mountain and skiing back. They read the mags, watch the movies, talk skiing with their ski-bum friends. Many devote their lives to being on the mountain by any means necessary. And many happily accept and promote the ski-bum title and lifestyle. Yet this charge is never levied against them. Nor is it against any other enthusiast who takes their hobby seriously.

What about the guy who plays in 4 softball leagues a year? Spends time and money on batting cages? Practices with his team twice a week? Hell, plays on more than one team at a time. Buys the latest bat and glove. Watches instructional videos on how to improve his fielding. Why not hate on him and his love for his hobby? Why not accuse him of being “too serious” about his game?

What about the stoner who plays video games in their basement 47 hours a week? Buys the newest game system with all the latest extras. Has the headphones. The sweet gaming chair. Plays online with people he’ll never meet. Argues gaming with them day in and day out. Argues gaming with his buds over a bong everyday. Why doesn’t anyone say, “Why spend so much time arguing over this online game when you’re not even being PAID to play it?” Not even close. This gamer is PAYING to play it. Yet he takes it seriously. Very seriously. Why not criticize him for being so serious about his hobby?

What makes us cyclists so susceptible to this “who cares, you’re not being paid” accusation?

Finally, the hardcore road racer’s focus and commitment on training in a deliberate, educated manor in no way shape or form disturbs or detracts from the 1 million Freds who ride “for fun.” So who cares?

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Written by jlongo12

December 2, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Posted in cycling

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