It’s a long distance, but for me it has been many years of life. I mark 62 years (100k) of life. The journey has taught me a great deal about the world and myself. The days of free drinks (151 rum and cola) at the college town bars came to an end long ago. Now when I embarrass myself it is with complete knowledge and usually a bit of forethought.
Over the past decade I have covered a lot of distance. This has been in all seasons, on foot, bike, and kayak as more rigorous travel. I’ve also had the joy and adventure of travel both within the United States and in Europe. Marriage and family has transitioned in numerous ways. I still find joy and satisfaction in the interactions with my diverse daughters. My wife and I are moving toward anniversary #36. Our roles, our perspectives, and our interests have changed, but I still look forward to what lies ahead. Life is certainly like an ultra event in my perspective. The goal is to keep moving forward, looking toward what lies over the next hill and around the next curve. The finish line isn’t the prize. The prize is the journey and what is discovered about life and self, internal and external along the way.
I’ll spend part of my birthday with Ryan, my training companion and good friend. We’ll travel to the Sheyenne National Grasslands, southwest of Kindred, ND. This is our last training together before we embark on the 160 mile distance of the Tuscobia Winter Ultra in Rice Lake, Wisconsin next weekend. He’ll traverse the distance on a fatbike, while I’ll trek on foot pulling a “new to me” sled with the required gear. Over the years I’ve come to value the secluded beauty and welcoming terrain of the Grasslands. Its personalities change with the seasons. I cherish the time to be on the frozen, windswept prairies and savannahs of this expansive area. I’m grateful to have come to the awareness, (even if late in life) that beauty can be found in all situations if I’m mindful enough to perceive it.