Archive for the ‘mud run’ Tag

A Picture   Leave a comment

Pictures capture a moment in time.  Pictures can be altered and given how fickle memory is over time, the memory can come to match the altered picture.  Our brains do that anyway which is why witnesses to crimes are notoriously inaccurate in their descriptions.  So while the memories are fresh I will begin a series of pictures, while those memories are popping fresh, that will communicate some of the experiences that go with them.

But first, we are home.  Post trip blues are clearly evident.  There has been no wrist slashing but that sounds pretty good.  Now, to pay for the trip.  Now, to get rid of the pounds gained on the trip.  Now, to do something with the 1700 pictures amassed on the journey.  Yeah, that many.  Most will be disposed of.  Will memories be disposed of in the process?  Will anyone care in twenty years?  We tend to keep “good” pictures, but are they the ones that tell the best tales?

So, to begin we have this:

So, so picture.

So, so picture.

This is an OK picture.  pretty decent composition, I guess.  Wish I had hid where the stones lead better.  Lighting isn’t great.  Good detail, see the coins dropped in the water, like that adds to the garden!  What do people think?  Someone has to go in there regularly and drag this out of the algae.  The picture is at Butchart Garden.  It is beautiful, though expensive as I noted in an earlier post.  Sneak food in though, they clean up on that.  Anyway, this picture has a little extra meaning for me.  As I was composing the picture and waiting for there to be no one in the shot, something of a challenge to do with the 20,000,000 people roaming the garden, several people came up from behind me.  Both with issues. Please note, the stones are about four inches apart in the water.  Crossing this is not a task from the Amazing Race, or Wipeout.  The stones are relatively flat but not perfectly so, which is part of the intent in gardens of this type in Japan or China.  The water is about 7 – 8 inches deep.  I don’t think many adults would be drowning in this.  So unless you are doing handstands and grabbing coins while crossing you are going to be pretty safe, I think.  The purpose of a blog like ours should not be to make fun of anyone and in this case that is not the intent either…it is tempting though.

The first group to arrive behind me was a couple, mid-forties (like I can tell how old someone is, not!), and at least looked normal enough.  The female spousal figure, I’m pretty sure it was a spouse, reached the spot next to where I was crouched.  There was room to pass.  She would not.  “I just don’t think I can do this.”  Yes, this series of mostly flat rocks right next to each other was beyond her capabilities.  Last year I hurt my back pretty bad.  I had signed up for a mud run by one of the now ubiquitous groups making money “letting” people for a fee run something like a 5K but with the added element of including 9 or more obstacles in the path of the runner.  These involve climbing, sloshing or crawling through mud and other activities designed to make you feel either a) inadequate; b) awesome; or c) stupid, because you actually paid to humiliate yourself and ruin a set of running shoes, that is if you can find them after they have been sucked down to hell while trudging through thirty feet of stinking mud.  Well, I will let you decide which group I fall into but I think I know.  But, due to my injury I was forced to miss the event, not get the “free” beer I had paid for in the entry fees but did avoid collapsing on top of a tall wall, looking like a coyote, shot to death and thrown over a fence like you see out in Montana.  But with less hair.  So even with encouragement from the spouse, whose eyes said he wanted to go this way, they both turned around and headed for the safety of an alternate route, one relieved, the other disappointed and probably feeling like he didn’t get his money’s worth that day.

Still waiting for the tidal wave of people to depart the other side, another couple arrived.  Probably in their mid-thirties.  Healthy looking enough.  No one overweight, no canes or walkers, wheelchairs, both legs firmly attached.  This time it was the woman that wanted to proceed.  He balked.  “They’re too far apart”, he proclaimed. “I don’t think I can.”  At first I wondered what he was talking about.  But, of course, it was the stones.  The gaps, in his mind were enormous.  I understand being a coward sometimes.  I have never been good with heights.  No roller coasters for me.  A couple of years ago I decided to try and overcome this.  So while in Aspen I paraglided off a mountain.  The fear that comes just as you run off the edge was difficult to overcome.  But as with most such things it settles into another emotion, sometimes sublime or joyful.

Nearing landing a few years ago in Aspen. Overcoming my fears.

But I still have my limits.  While driving along Lake Superior on this va-ca we came across climbers working up the cliffs above the lake.  Well over a hundred feet of straight up or angled outward precipice.  I could not bring myself to crawl to the edge and look over at the climbers below.  But these guys just sat at the edge and helped guide up those below.

Climber assisting climber along Lake Superior. I didn’t even know it had cliffs like this.

Keeping an eye on the edge.

I couldn’t do this, well, maybe, for that million on the Amazing Race.  Maybe. So I will not judge too harshly, but I can’t help but wonder how a person gets to a place where crossing the small gaps in life is too difficult.  At least try.  I hope I remember my own lesson.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  It appears I have reached that here.  I don’t think anyone wants a picture of mine to be worth two thousand!  Done.

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