Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Deep Thoughts

It is with some sadness that I write tonight. Jim MacLaren passed away this week. I first met Jim in 1988 at a Triathlon. I saw him again that same year at the Ironman World Championships where he redefined what an athlete was to me. He with one real leg and one prosthetic leg (before running advancements in prosthetic legs) raced the Ironman and finished in the top of his class. Not the top of the disabled class but he was up there in his age group. Heck he finished in the top 1/2 of the entire race. Click on his name and watch an emotional video of the man and his mark on history. He simply changed perceptions for himself and thousands who have followed.

This brings me to my deep thoughts. I've read two books in the last 2 weeks. Both were about men. Both were 99.9% void of women. Both had a topic that brings up the deep thoughts.

Running on Faith by Jason Lester - Jason's story is one of craziness. Like Jim he was faced with a disability caused by a moving vehicle. Their stories are stories of heart break and gut wrenching determination. Jason who can do amazing things without the use of his right arm credits all of his will and determination to God. His belief is that God has guided him (opened the door) to do the athletic events that he does.

The other book I read was War by Sebastian Junger - It's a page turner from cover to cover if you like this stuff. What struck me is that the main character (a real Soldier) has determined that God does not live in the Valley where this Army base is.

Two men are lucky to be alive. To that by one way or another they have seen "hell". One who feels God is the reason he's alive and on his path. One that feels God wasn't there to keep him alive in the first place and wasn't there when his friends were killed in front of his eyes.

I'm not questioning God or questioning the two lead characters. I'm simply showing you what I read and it does bring up some deep thoughts.

One thing for sure after reading both books. If I hear another athlete equate what they do or what they have done to a "Battlefield" I may throw their book out a window. Unless you've been there, on a real battlefield with real bullets you have no idea what it's like. And you have no right to equate what you do to that. It's not fair to the Soldiers and it's not fair to your readers.

Although I say it with a heavy heart...

It's a good life.....

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