Saturday, June 2

Philosophical not poetic

This morning I sat in my pickup and watched the start of a 5K race. I registered, traveled 20 miles, put on my bib number, and did short warm up but chose not to participate. After they were on their way I drove out of the parking lot and headed home with no regrets that I missed a race and forfeited time and an entry fee.

Every day we wake up to the reality that there is a probability we will be injured, get sick, or even die. I don’t live in a hole. I realize that we are required to take some risks to live a full life but I constantly play the odds, looking for ways to give myself an edge in the game.

I fear flying yet I know it is safer to travel by plane than by automobile so I will fly rather than drive on longer trips. It is safer to not smoke than to smoke, safer to exercise than not, safer to wear a seat belt than not, and safer to stay indoors during a storm than not. When a simple, otherwise inconsequential, decision can increase my odds of living a longer healthier life it is an easy choice.

I once had a conversation with Maynard Cohick about the risks of mountain climbing. He was a risk-taker. For him the pleasure he acquired from living on the edge outweighed the risk. My mother-in-law is adamant that life without cigarettes would not be worth living. I have a friend who will not give up the joy of eating to control his diabetes and clogged arteries. Each of us must make our own well-informed decisions balancing our physical and emotional well-being

This morning a thunderstorm was passing over and the race organizers made the decision to start the race as scheduled. I suppose the increased risk was minimal but sufficient for me to place my physical well-being above the social pressure to race. I hope my friends, who chose to run, were safe and finished well. I am proud of them for enduring the storm and hope they do not think less of me for opting out.

2 Comments:

Blogger bl said...

Of course I don't think less of you.

But after my performance today, I feel the goal of catching you is much more realistic.

June 02, 2007 1:22 PM  
Blogger rslight said...

For what it is worth, I don't think less of you either.
I was a little worried about the lightning.

June 02, 2007 5:58 PM  

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