Last year I purchased a new Subaru Crosstrek after my 2004 Volvo wagon unexpectedly reached a point where it was no longer drivable and the costs to repair were prohibitive with no guarantee that fixing it now would extend its usable life. I love my new car and was excited to drive it home, but it’s a thing and like all things, it is temporary. My Subaru is a thing I bought. Anyone with cash or a lender can buy one. Why do we as a culture put so much value and esteem on people with a lot of things?

Triathlons are something I experienced. I put “skin in the game” (l literally left my skin on pavement during multiple bike crashes through my 16 years of racing). I couldn’t simply pay to to have the experience of crossing the finishing line. I had to do the training and complete the race. I couldn’t buy the experiences of being told, “You are an IRONMAN!” when I crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Canada in 1997 or winning the Vineman Full twice. Those were experiences.

When you choose experiences, you become someone else after the experience, richer and more interesting.

As Mary Oliver said, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”