Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Drawbridgers...and Ultrarunning

Some thing recently just reminded me of an article that I clipped nearly 30 years ago and stashed in a file for my kids. Geoffrey Norman, writing in Esquire magazine in March 1984 ("For Love or Money--Environmentalism Gets to the Heart of the Matter"), wrote:

Drawbridgers like me will take Thoreau or Rachel Carson every time. We know that when you die, your last thought is of the first time you saw the sun rise, or made love, or swam in the ocean. Not the first time you opened a checking account or bought stock.

Ultrarunning is like that for me--aside from family memories, my backcountry running is what I remember, keep coming back to, and with any luck, will be in my thoughts as I draw my last breath. Things like being the first one on a trail at daybreak and running thru the spider webs across the trail...seeing deer and bear and beavers and porcupines and owls and mink and rattlesnakes up close...breaking trail in the snow...finding old home foundations in the middle of the now-unbroken forest...trail running by the full moon...drinking deeply of the coolest, freshest water from springs and streams...overlooks and cliffs...sharing the trail in silence or in laughter or in hardship with like-minded companions....

You get the idea. This sport nourishes both our bodies and our psyches.


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