My Choice - My Challenge!

aving done a lot of mulling and moaning during the past couple of month or so, I have now put a new focus on my sport activities. It was a matter of remembering what it was that brought me to Incredible Ladies in the first place, what it was that made me feel happy and successful and healthy. So on one hand I am doing this for myself, but on the other this brought me back to thinking about the charity side of things as well.

Oh my, I have been so grumpy and jealous, seeing all these celebrities running marathons, climbing mountains, waterskiing through the Channel. All these examples of overcoming fear and challenge taking I found more off-putting rather then inspiring. How is a normal person supposed to compete with that? How am I to measure my success against theirs? I am bound to fail miserably. These guys have a public face, they have a team helping them, they have the best of equipment, and of course they are raising huge amounts of money. Why should I work my bud of, almost killing myself in a challenge, if only about 5 people will pat my shoulder, and if I am lucky I may raise 500 quid. One celeb can cover the efforts of about a thousand of normal people. Under efficiency point of view we should let the celebs do all the fundraising.

And actually, it is not just me claiming the same praise for a similar effort; one is getting measured against these achievements. “What? You only did one marathon? Well, here is a pound, but you know - Eddie Izzard has been running 50 of them in one go – THAT is great innit?”

To be honest: I feel like a resentful arsehole now. Because it doesn’t matter how I compare to those guys... and the poor bloke really did suffer!

It is important that

  • I like what I am doing,
  • that I achieved something that I couldn’t do before, what gives hope that I can replicate that and become even better the next time, and
  • that whatever people give me as sponsorship goes to the charity that matters most to me.

Oh, and there we are with the next rant! The choice of charity – I did Race for Life, Cancer Research; after three years it was almost impossible to get people excited about it: ‘We know that you can do it, why are you doing it again?’

Does it matter? I am collecting money for a worthy cause, for crying out loud!

And then I came across the orangutans and I just knew that is what I want to support. Well now I have to defend my choice because I am not helping humans or children. The extinction of a species... hmm, aren’t their more pressing problems in the world?

Fighting extinction – why does it matter?

I don’t have one of those official, scientific answers to that – all I have is a story.

When I was a kid at school we went to a history museum and all of a sudden I found myself face to face with a strange stuffed bird in a diorama: A Dodo. I always was into wildlife and wanted to visit all the places to see all the animals, and so I asked the teacher where they live. He pointed me to a little label that said: Extinct.

I didn’t know what that meant, and so he explained that there is not a single place in this world where this animal is still alive. That they all got killed hundreds of years ago and that the stuffed ones are all that is left of them. It was the first time that something that grand hat hit my little brain. I had not been travelling at all back then, for me this world was an endless resource; how on earth could it happen that something just vanished. I felt for the first time what it means to be ‘too late’, I felt deprived of an opportunity, and later when I went to university they had a museum with a stuffed Dodo. I visited him often and imagined how nice it would be... just once to see him waddling along between trees.

Later my imagination got caught by Jane Goodall and her Chimpanzees, and of course I wanted to travel to Tanzania and live in the rainforest. And of course I didn’t. Well and many years later I bumped into the orangutans on the telly and edged my way closer to the scene of people actually doing the rescue work. I learned a lot about all the issues which make them an endangered species, and I would not be able to bare the thought, that one day a child would be standing in a museum in front of a stuffed orangutan and asking the same question I asked about the Dodo, only to find the same label attached to it.

And knowing what I know now, about evolution, habitat, gene pools, and so on – Now I know how easy it is to make something extinct. We may be next.

And that is why it matters!
Rika's Column

Food Personalities
My Choice - My Challenge
Back to the roots
Iron Ladies
Keeping the Romance
Not old yet
Travelling Skills
Winter Blues
X-mas Perfection
Column Talk
Moaners and Whiners
My very own sun
Nudism VS. Fur
Ballet for Adults
About Women
Confidence & Humour
Location, Location
Going Cat Bonkers
How To Be Funny
Three Cheers to USG
To Lent or Not To Lent
Let's complain a bit
Sport & Food - Choices
Tweeting Like a Bird
How to Train a Husband
Dangerous Romance
Excuses! Excuses?
Seats with Needs
Present, Past, Future
Cheese & Computers
Games! Games?
Rabit, Death and ...
Never Enough
How I not got published
Going stingy … eh, thrifty
Asian vs. Caucasian
Panic,Paranoia & Politics
Pictures, Roofs & Paranoia
On the Slush Pile
Cattle Trek
Fraudster & CS
He's so sweet!
Names ...
Am I too spoilt?
Homage to Mukuefchen
Buying a Car
Food Shopping
Oh No, not again!
Wrongly Wired
IAPU (farce)
How Embarrassing
Homage to Monica
I'm on Strike
Humble Pie
We Had It All

What's the worst...?
Creams and Ointments

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Copyright 2007
Author: Rika