this one goes out to rory, who doesn't like the book because he felt like the first chapter implied that all men like to hunt elk.
speaking as one who loves to hike in the mountains, but has never once felt the slightest urge to shoot just about anything, i said i felt like that entirely missed the point of the entire book. that's just how it surfaced for the author.
i work with some great guys, and somehow, they convinced me to register for the new orleans ironman. anyone reading this who knows me knows how ridiculous that is. i didn't even own a road bike! still, i'd gained weight since we moved here, and i've always needed a goal to motivate any sort of training, so i went for it.
i normally have an appointment every tuesday morning, but the other party cancelled it last night, so i thought it was a perfect chance to get in a long ride. i suppose i should have seen things coming with the string of issues at the start. someone in the house had borrowed my helmet and put it in the wrong place, the tire was flat, the pump wasnt working right, etc. finally i got on the road. i had a problem with my shoes about mile 5, and foolishly reaching down to fix it instead of stopping, i veered a bit, caught a ridge at the edge of the bike trail, and wiped out at a good clip. ouch. covered with mud and road rash, bleeding from about 5 places, i check myself over and confirm it's nothing serious. a minor price to pay for the amusement of hundreds of passing motorists. so i take a good long drink and get back on. a bit painful, resting the abrased elbow in the aerobars, but not too bad.
until mile 13, when my back tire goes completely flat. this is my first tire issue, remember i just bought the bike! so i start working on it, and just before i run out of co2 i actually get it patched, back together and filled. took a LONG time. but i bent the brake in the process, and now the back wheel wont turn. finally, i bend the brake back out of the way. it doesn't work, but the wheel turns.
and then the icy cold downpour began and the wind picked up.
i just laughed and looked to heaven. i think god likes to wrestle a bit, and that's where the title reference comes from. i have to disagree with you rory, at least for most of us. i think there's an exhultation in the struggle, the stinging freezing rain. i think it's like wrestling your dad -- you know he'll win, but you want to give it a strong show. i know nature can best me, but i'm most alive in the struggle, testing my limits against the elements. i may do some of my most important work in flourescent lit offices, but i'm not really alive there. i'm alive in the struggle, both in the OR, and on a mountainside in the driving rain.
ahhh. little people are home, speaking of aliveness and meaning.
4 weeks ago