LooseCrew-JeffO: Turn on the smoke


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Turn on the smoke

The Snowman Stampede was fun, as usual. It started very cold and windy and finished quite nice and sunny.
I volunteered at the 3.6-/13.6-mile turn-around.
Tania Pacev easily won the 20 mile. She somewhat tensed when I hugged her before the race - she hasn't seen me since before I had the fuzz on my face! LOL! By the time she passed my turn-around point the 2nd time, she had firmly consolidated her lead by about a mile, and had relaxed and figured out who the furry guy was! So she was her old familiar self, smiling and friendly. Her win is awesome because she had orthroscopic surgery on her knee last October. In spite of her easy win, she didn't look like she was running anywhere nearly as fast as she has in the past. But she'll get there.

Another friend, Kelly R., is leaving for Hawaii soon - permanently. Colorado is losing a fantastic runner and person. Our loss. At least we had the honor for a while, huh? It's Hawaii's turn, now.

I've been reading "Deep Survival", by Laurence Gonzales. It is a great book, for anyone who is adventurous, or curious about that type of individual.
Many people assume that doing adventurous things is always reckless. I can only guess those people have lived extremely boring lives. Otherwise they would know that some adventure is safer than "normal" life activities. These people often retort that the things I do aren't necessary, though, so if I die doing what I do, it's reckless and irrisponsible. But how many people in cities are doing "only" what "has" to be done when they die?
They die in a car accident on the way to a movie, a club, a friend's house to watch "the game". Did they "have" to go to the movie? Did they "have" to go to their friend's house? Did they "have" to watch the game?
They die in their sleep from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - after years of inactivity and poor eating habits - a virtual suicide that took decades to accomplish. Did they have to sit on their ass so much for so many years? Did they have to have extra helpings of ice cream and BBQ ribs so many times?
We choose our lives. We choose who we are. In a way, we choose how we die.
On the 2nd-to-last page of Deep Survival was a great line. One of his friends died in a plane crash. Then soon after, another friend died of glioblastoma. They were polar opposites. So-called "regular life" cannot escape the danger of our mortality. He says, "You're already flying upside down. You might as well turn on the smoke and have some fun."

So here's to having fun.


At 4:24 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

I love this post Jeff. I don't know if you ever read Dean Karnazes's book "Ultra Marathon Man", but he quotes one of his running buddies in there and I couldn't help but notice a parallel between this post and the quote from the book. The quote reads, "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: 'WOW!! What a ride!'" I completely agree with this sentiment. People have told me that running marathons can't be good for your body. Meanwhile, they smoke, don't exercise, and eat tons of crappy food. I would rather drop over from a heart attack on a marathon course where at least I'm out there doing what I love rather than spend my life getting fat on the sofa and die of a heart attack without ever experiencing anything larger than myself.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

Yes, I did read Karnazes's book. Good read. It was the only "Ultra"-marathon book I found at Barnes & Nobles.
The irony is, that quote you mention in his book is pasted at the desk of one of our fat, sedentary secretaries at my company. She uses it to say that you should eat and drink with abandon and get fat, because you're going to be dead tomorrow anyway, so why bother exercising?
Interesting difference in perspectives.


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