Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hoka Hey


Hoka Hey!

though the translation is a bit off, it is commonly translated as "It is a good day to die!" though the translation and use is somewhat suspect and generally seen as wrong.

What is correct is that Sioux warrior Crazy Horse used to scream it to his men as they rode into battle.

It really means, "let's ride" and he would usually say it in conjunction with 'it is a good day to die'. But over the years the meaning of the two phrases has morphed into one, and since languages evolve, what once meant one thing now commonly means another.

So for my purposes here, 'Hoka Hey' will forever mean 'It is a good day to die!'.

And it may be. For some.

Not for me.

Hoka hey is also the name of a grueling motorcycle challenge that runs some 7000+ miles from Key West Florida to Homer Alaska.

It takes nearly two weeks to complete it and there are rules that make it even more difficult.
For instance you do not know the route from leg to leg. You are given the route for the next leg at each check point. It is ran completely on secondary roads. You have to sleep next to your motorcycle. No hotel rooms.

Entry is limited to 1000 participants who each pay $1000 to enter. The winner, defined as the one who rode the course in the least amount of time, wins $500,000.

But it is not the possibility of winning a lot of money that intrigues me.

It is the challenge.

And beyond that, it has caused me to ask myself a question:

When was the last time I was challenged?

I'm not talking about being challenged at work, or some emotional driven challenge, I am talking about a challenge of physical and mental endurance.

Some might say that the ride I did last year with a few friends would qualify. We did nearly 100 miles in two days. Others might say that rising to the challenge of my health concerns and taking action to correct them would qualify.

But not me.

That is just life.

And as we go plodding along through life, where is it that we find that we have, don't have, or no longer have, what it takes?

It all becomes a never ending quagmire of meetings, routines, and long check out lines.

And we get softer.
Not just of body, but of mind.
And worse yet, of spirit.

Yes, we get softer of spirit.

And that should be criminal.

Hoka hey!!!