Dealing with Post Trans-Iowa Stress Disorder (PTISD).
Norris Hansell famously published his Seven Essential Needs paper in 1967 (later updated to Nine Attachments in 1973). As a young collegian, some thirty years ago, every one of Norris’ words rang true to me and glowed like burning coal pouring off of every page, like it was written in my soul from me to you, Tangled Up in Blue…I digress…Today as I attempt to drag myself out of my bed each morning and face a post T.I. future, I am once again comforted by his prose. It is reassuring to think about Norris in the context of the Trans-Iowa because by applying Hansell’s work to aspects of the Trans-Iowa one can see why it is such a big deal to finish it and such a big disappointment to NOT finish it. Firstly below are the nine generalized “essential needs” that Hansell maintains each of us must possess in order to live a “self-actualized” or fulfilled life. Below the generalized list, I apply the nine essential needs to the Trans-Iowa (TI) in an effort to persuade my readership that the TI is so important because it complements or follows Hansell’s key principles.
Hansell’s Nine ESSENTIAL Needs or CONNECTIONS (in General)
1. TO INFORMATION: Everyone needs access to facts about himself and his environment to develop innate potential, live in organized society, maintain mutually fulfilling relationships, and develop a functional self-concept. Examples are: knowing how to apply for and perform a job, form and maintain relationships, and take care of oneself physically. All racers need access to facts about route finding. All racers need access to information about where to obtain further supplies. All racers need basic information about battery-life, mileage covered, calories burned etc. All racers need information about the weather so as to make informed decisions about clothing, fenders, glasses, and a number of other important factors. The “information” needs of the Trans-Iowa far exceed any other race that I have participated in. As I found out the hard way, one cannot simply rely on others to direct one to the finish line. One needs access to independent information. I really screwed up in this area. My odometer was not working from about the forty mile mark …no worries until I fell behind a group and was forced to go it alone…
REFERENCES: Hansell, N. (1974). The Cyclist-in-distress: On the biosocial mechanisms of adaptation. New York: Behavioral Sciences Press.