I decided to try a straight razor because one time I broke down and bought one at an antique store (why I did that I'm not sure). Once I glt it home, I started thinking 'I could do this, I might actually be able to do this.' I was smart enough to send it off to an expert before even trying, who told me that the razor I had purchased was of poor quality and wouldn't hold an edge. By that point I had decided to try, regardless, so I purchased a functional razor and the cheapest paddle strop I could find.Interesting read, Kingfisher. Why did you decide to try a straight razor? Why did you persist for 160 shaves before you decided that it was a viable shaving method? This curious mind wants to know.
As for why/how I persisted, I think it was mostly because I can be quite stubborn. I had been able to learn many other complex motor tasks, like playing musical instruments and riding unicycles, and I wasn't willing to imagine that this particular task was beyond my grasp. Also, the rewards of getting a even a little bit better at something slowly over time are generally underestimated.