Thursday, January 05, 2006
Reading About Dean, Mr Ultra
I don't get it. I'm 2/3's into the book, a fast read (let's face it we're not talking literary genius here) but I can't seem to understand this drive he has. Or rather, I must honestly say I'm playing armchair psychiatrist and am judging him--and not with the healthy thoughts I think of my fellow running bloggers out there.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a runner, I loooove running. Running for me helps me feel more alive and helps me spend the time alone I need with myself. And running the marathon hurt, and you bet I'll do it again. But this......???
"...it was a gloririous moment nonetheless--I'd just qualified for the Western States 100!
On shaky legs, I stumbled to the finishers' tent and received a ribbon and a few handshakes and slaps on the back. Then I lumbered painfully to my car. When I plopped down on the leather seats, my legs went strangely cold. Something wasn't right. Then, without warning, the quadriceps and calf muscles of both legs seized in wicked cramps. My torso swung violently left, and then wildly back to the right. My legs were pegged to the floorboard, completely rigid. All ten toes were locked in place, forcefully curled against the soles of my shoes. My calf muscles were tight as baseballs, and my thighs were like solid planks of wood. The pain was mind-bending, pounding, entirely owning every drop of me. Sweat poured down my face, and I screamed at the top of my lungs. "
He continues on...finishing the Western States, nine times altogether! And on and on....200-mile runs, a South Pole Marathon and a 300-mile run. I don't mean to diminish what he's accomplished, he truly is an amazing athlete, but this is more than just enjoying and loving to run. Dare I say it....it seems sick!
Throughout the book, he attempts to answer the question he is asked at the beginning of the book by a pizza delivery man who brings him a pizza out on the road...."So Dude, do you mind me asking why you're doing this?" (I have a great visual going on of this pizza guy....far out man!!) And in the end, he answers it (yes I peeked....I'm like that...deal with it). And I'm even happy with his final line, I could use it to answer the question myself. But I can't help saying that it all felt wrong to me. That his running was not for the pure love of the sport, there was a deep, dark side to it. An area in his life that needing to be cured, a devastating pain that needed tending. One that could be better accomplished by seeking out a therapist and healing himself. Though, I know I've worked issues out on my runs, but there's more here than that.
Or am I missing something?? And don't tell me I have no right to judge him. We all do that. Screw the politically correct crap. I don't buy into it. We're freaking humans, for God's sake, not machines. (And ya know what....I'm a Jew and I don't need the last two weeks to be referred to as the "Holiday Season" either. Oh Please...I have never been offended by Xmas and never will. pffffft)