Friday, October 10, 2014

Ooooh That Smell...and Ultrarunning

Yesterday I just ran a local 5 miler along the rural roads that surround my home.  Suddenly my nostrils were assailed by the unmistakable smell of death, in the form of a road-killed groundhog.

Any of us who run roads knows that odor, and of course immediately the Lynyrd Skynyrd tune "That Smell" came to mind:


And the lyrics:
Ooooh that smell 

Can't you smell that smell 

Ooooh that smell 

The smell of death surrounds you

So, me of the active mind, began to think of death.  Within 3 miles of my home, I can think of the violent deaths of 5 people within the past few years: a double murder; 2 traffic fatalities, and a suicide in the woods beside the road.

Plus the grave of Janet Christiansen, murder victim down in NC, buried nearby.  I did not know her, but somehow the circumstances of her life and death touched a nerve with me to the extent that I have blogged several times about her (most recently about a year ago, here, and you can work backwards from that post).

And yet, Ultrarunning is an affirmation of life, of physicality, of going beyond, of venturing into the zone of mental and physical extremes that the rest of the world will never know.  So let's laugh in the face of death--for now--and go about our lives.  Time to ponder immortality later.

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