Years ago, Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was the measurement of potential. But then Emotional Quotient (EQ) was added to the mix of desirable qualities. Now there is also SQ and AQ.
RASA challenges and develops all four.
IQ is challenged by our intellectual approach to race, the logic, the planning and the decisions made. We look at the maps and use our intellect to decide on a way forward. This is not the time for EQ.
Managing our emotions, and our emotional responses to what we are feeling as we ride the trail, becomes difficult at times. If we haven't done so already, we soon learn to identify what it is we're feeling. We acknowledge the fear, frustration, or the happiness and we allow it to move through us.
Lesser EQ maturity can lead us to temper tantrums, a negative outlook and possibly throwing in the towel too soon when faced with difficulties.
So what is this thing called SQ.
Social Quotient is about relationships. These are tested during the race. They can be strengthened or broken. Even the solo racer does not escape the entanglements of relationships. The briefest of interactions can leave a lasting impression, positive or negative.
Some relationships are built on the trail as the riders learn to accommodate the strengths, weaknesses and foibles of their companions. And if course, we build a relationship with ourselves as we test our endurance.
The measure of SQ is the length of the relationships built and every one of us who have ridden all or part of this race, have bonds that will never break whether it's with fellow riders, support station hosts, Buffalo herders or simply people we met along the way.
Which brings us to the all-important AQ, Adversity Quotient.
I'm not sure if the Freedom riders are attracted to the race because they already embrace adversity or if they discover their limits along the way.
There is no doubt that RASA tests our ability to withstand adversity at obvious times, like Mordor (Osseberg) and Stettyns. Yet we are often tested when we least expect it.
It's easy for panic to set in when we're not sure of the navigation and night is closing in. Wind, rain and snow test us to the extreme.
What we have all witnessed are riders who rise to the challenge. Despite the wobbles, they soldier on and discover that they have so much more within them, than they thought possible.
As my one-time canoeing coach once said: "If you can handle what sport throws at you, you can handle life."
RASA and its short versions test us in so many different ways. It's no surprise that most of us feel we are better people after putting ourselves through the IQ, EQ, SQ and AQ wringer.