Monday, March 4, 2013

In defense of DFL

Dead Fucking Last. In the cycling community this is a general term of derision. It implies that you are the slowest most unworthy cyclist at the event. You will hear about it at every race. You are sure to hear about it if you are that guy. Even at the Greenlake races there was a prize for DFL. I always thought of this as a booby prize. But maybe that is the wrong way to think about it.

Last we at the FHR we had one rider who arrived late. Way late. About two hours after the first riders finished. After the prizes were handed out. When there was just about no chili left. It wasn't a mechanical issue, or a flat tire. The guy was just slow.

At the same time I think he put in a harder race than anyone else that day. Trust me, if you had seen the guy you would know. Isn't that what we are looking for in sporting? What makes the Tour De France or the Iditarod so amazing is people pushing themselves to their limits. (Maybe that is what offends everyone about doping in sport. If you use performance enhancing drugs, you aren't truly pushing yourself to your limit.) This is why we are excited about people climbing the highest mountains, or diving deeper than anyone else. We talk about the people who ran the four minute mile, or a 2 hour marathon.

While we are always going to look for the person who is fastest or goes farthest, we shouldn't look down on anyone for not coming in first. Frankly, I have more respect for the guy who went gave everything they had to come in last than someone for whom winning was easy. For all of the guys and girls out there who came in exhausted, weary, and in last place, my hat is off to you.


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