Of all the shitty reasons to do something, fortune, fame, fun… I used to think money was the root of all evil. How silly. The roots of evil run deep into every human heart. Money grows on trees. Money is trees, actually. Trees are great! Money is also ink and silk fibers and chemicals and a bazillion heinous microbes. Not so great.
But it’s not the money or the fame people really want. The heart wants what the heart wants. And it’s not currency or paper or attention or numbers on a computer screen. It’s not Venmo or bitcoin or gilded idols or magnetic plastic rectangles.
All of that is a means to an end. It’s a game we play, one of many; religion, sports, politics. But why? Why do we do anything at all? A noble cause? A fleeting fantasy?
Maybe like so many pageant contestants, your goal is world peace. Maybe it’s a tiny apartment in every city you love, #basic. Whatever it is, a goal can be a reason to keep going when life gives you so many reasons to stop. And you don’t need a lot of reasons. You only need one.
While resetting for a final splash of water on the backyard photo shoot one chilly Brooklyn evening, I handed over another towel and asked world-class athlete Maggie Redden what she thinks about when she’s preparing for a race, what moves her forward. Her response was essential, direct and powerful. The shutter clicked, the strobes popped, the water splashed and years later what she said in that fraction of a second is still etched in my mind.