How do you sell others, let alone yourself, on going to Pamplona?
One approach is to focus on the things that are easier to understand – the beauty of Spain, for example, charm of Pamplona itself or the vibrant, colorful experience of the Festival of San Fermin.
The cost of emotionally investing in the fun and pageantry is so much lower than investing in the possibility of death or dismemberment, and it makes it so much likelier that you, friends and family may actually be in Pamplona in July 2012.
I could give you a complicated explanation, undoubtedly Hemingway-tinged (apparently I’m not the only one), but running with the bulls in Pamplona is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teen.
Long-blocked in this pursuit by a smart, loving, long-suffering spouse, I didn’t think it was something that would ever happen. But then in a misguided moment of weakness, Linda said “Sure, if you ever run a half marathon.”
Big mistake. I’ve transformed a sedentary streak of some years into a health and running kick that culminated today in registering to run in the Waddell & Reed Half Marathon on Oct. 15.
So the official one-year countdown to Pamplona has begun.
And based on the reactions I’ve gotten from people with whom I’ve discussed this picaresque dream, I thought it might also serve as a small, real-world experiment in coalition building.
So I’m going to see how many people I may persuade to stand in a balcony above the stampeding hordes of bulls, oxen and terrified dreamers – or even join me below in the dash to the corrida. We’ll see how well the info, musings and writings I post here help spark a coalition of people focused on doing something that offers an unknowable mix of risk and reward – the core task of any coalitionist.