Thursday, May 31, 2007

Why "Desert Fish"?

Between the range of temperatures from 32 to 80 degrees F, living is pretty comfortable.

Sure, there are different levels of comfort. If you're alone in the wilderness on a mountainside overnight with a broken leg and it's 38 degrees and rainy, you're probably not going to feel too comfortable.

But generally speaking, in our modern society, with minimal adjustment, we can adapt our environments to deal with the minor fluctuations in temperature.

However, find yourself in an environment where the ambient temperature is outside of that 32-80 degree range, and you'll probably be singing a different tune. It's in these temperature extremes where only the bold go willingly, eagerly, wearing smiles and carrying anticipation.

That's where I'm headed on July 23, 2007. To the environment where most sane people do not go by their own accord if given the choice. Specifically, I'm traveling from my home in the temperate climate of Portland, Oregon, USA to Death Valley, located in Southern California, USA. The goal: To finish the BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON, a 135-mile footrace through one of the harshest climates on earth.

So, why "Desert Fish"?

Imagine a fish (of any variety) being taken from its home in the sea and immediately placed in the desert. Imagine what the fish would be thinking, could it process a complex string of thoughts: How will I breathe? Will there be water for me to swim in? What will I eat if and when I do find water in which to live? The fish would be waging an immediate battle for survival. Using every fiber in its fish body to overcome the severe challenge, adapt, survive, and hopefully...thrive.

I make this journey with an immense amount of respect: Respect for the desert, for the distance, for the race, and especially, for those who have gone before me on this incredible journey of the mind, spirit, and body.

Thanks for joining me as I prepare for this race, and thanks for sharing the details of a simple man on a simple quest for the finish line.