(Anticipated) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. So, Jeff, you’ve got stats since 2008, but you’ve been doing this your whole life, right? Like you probably ran home from the hospital after you were born. What makes you think someone like me can keep up with you?
A: Au contraire, mon ami! Despite my collection of tights and high-visibility shirts, I do not claim to be a superman. I gave up organized sports after Little League, and didn’t begin my current activities until 2005, when I was 43. But with just these few years of training, I am able to do things I today that I never thought I’d be able to do. And so can you!
Q. What inspired you (or possessed you) to do this?
A: It began with the idea several years ago, as I was working my bike mileage up, that one day I would ride my bike from home to our campground and back. Since the total distance would be about 500 miles, what better target date than 2012, the summer in which I would be 50 years old?
From there it just kind of snowballed as I thought of more things I could also do that year, to where it became a year-long celebration and demonstration of what people can do at age 50, even if they haven’t been active their entire lives.
Q. Isn’t PQ just another term for a ‘bucket list’?
A: No way. What I have planned is more than just some random checklist of stuff to get done ‘before I kick the bucket.’ And besides, ‘bucket list’ sounds crude and shallow, something done only for self-gratification. PQ 2012 is intended to be an example of what folks my age can do, as well as a marker of my own growth and improvement as a person. If I can inspire some other people to grow and improve along the way with me, the effort will be worth that much more to me!
Q. What exactly are you trying to prove with this Personal Quest thing?
A: Two things, mainly – continuing to improve myself by setting ambitious goals and doing my best to achieve them, and trying to set an example for other people, primarily those near my age. My hope is that at least a few people will be motivated by my example to set a goal and improve themselves in a way they would not have done otherwise. Whether they call it a PQ, or whether what they choose to do is large or small, doesn’t matter to me. I’d just like to hear about it and share it.
Q. You know, none of the activities you’ve got listed are particularly extraordinary. Seems like anyone could do them.
A: That’s precisely my point. I’m not going to climb Mt. Everest barefoot or anything like that. What I’m setting out to do are things anyone ought to be able to do at my age. But how many people my age actually do any of them, let alone all of them? I’m hoping some folks out there will at least try one of my planned activities and let me know about it.
Q. You’re crazy.
A: Please phrase that in the form of a question.
Q. You’re crazy, you know that?
A: Quite possibly. Why don’t you come join me on a run and try to talk me out of it. Or better yet, set up your own PQ, and then tell me about it. If this is crazy, perhaps the present world is too sane. Get up and get out here with me!