Truth and Consequences
“There was a moment in that night (twelve hours of trudging through single digit cold across nearly twenty miles of energy sapping snow and ice), a fulcrum point, when we stopped doing and were simply being. We continued to trudge for sure, but time and place seemed suspended and in that dark night all that was before us and all that was after us fell away. The word transcendent was used by a fellow adventurer and is the most apt word to describe the best moments I have had during these experiences.”
Jimmy Buff writing in the February issue of the Catskill Mountain Region Guide, about his recent group trek over the daunting Escarpment Trail in a midnight mid-winter freeze.
‘‘The pain doesn’t exist for me. I know it is there because I feel it, but I don’t pay attention to it. I sometimes see myself from the other view, looking down at me riding the bike. It is strange, but it happens like that.’’
Jure Robic, the cyclist “who might be the world’s best ultra-endurance athlete.” (He recently won the 2530 mile Le Tour Direct race in 7 days, 19 hours, climbing 140,000 feet in the process and getting by on a grand total of 9 hours sleep.) As quoted in a fascinating feature about human endurance in the New York Times Sports Magazine Play, February 5 2006.
“You scream by fences, trees, TV cameras, and people at eighty miles an hour plus. For me, this is as powerful and alive as I ever feel. And all I care about at that moment is going to that place where nothing matters and time slows.”
American ski iconoclast Bode Miller, in his autobiography Bode: Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun. As quoted in a profile also in the the New York Times Sports Magazine Play, February 5 2006.
“A Greene County man died after a skiing accident Thursday morning at Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl, police said.
State police at Catskill said Slawomir Wozny, 50, of Tannersville, was on the lower “42nd Street” trail about 11:30 a.m. when, according to witnesses, he lost control while trying to make a turn at high speed, went off the trail and struck a tree and a boulder.
Wozny, reportedly an experienced skier, suffered head injuries and was treated at the scene by the Hunter Mountain Ski Patrol, but he was pronounced dead a short time later at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, police said.”
As reported in the Kingston Daily Freeman, Friday February 3. The news of Wozny’s death put a dampener on my own return to Hunter Mountain after two weeks away, the wreath wrapped around the tree that claimed his life a powerful reminder that we can all push ourselves to the limits – but that sometimes there’s an ultimate price to pay.