Fudd bids adieu to GSPI readers
Do you know what you do when you’re a runner? You measure things. The more you run, quite often, the more you measure.
In the beginning, you might say you went out and ran for 30 minutes. As you get better, you start measuring distance and time. You might say you ran four miles in 29 minutes. As you get more competitive, the measurements multiply. Now you run 6.2 miles in 38:29 at a 6:11 pace per mile. You finished at 9:20 a.m., the temperature was about 50 degrees and it was overcast.
An then, you almost win a race and you start thinking, “How can I improve my time?”
Measuring starts getting obsessive because, now, every second counts. You start measuring food labels for fat and calories, cholesterol and sodium, carbohydrates and fiber, sugars and protein an vitamins A to zinc.
You measure how much fluid you need to complete a required run, how much sleep you need, how much time before a race you need to eat your meal. You keep track of everything you consume and measure the effects of all your meals, including bowel movements. You measure the weight of your shoes, your socks, your shorts, your shirt, your body. You count sit-ups, and pull-ups and squats and lunges and pushups and the time of every walk.
You know precisely, within a tenth of a mile, how long every road and trail is within a 10-mile radius of your home. You know how long it will take you to run those distances, within a 30-second window, at slow, medium, or fast pace. You measure heartbeats. You will measure how many miles you’ve run per day, per week, per month, per year and know the average distance and pace for all.
You measure the warming ability of various layers of clothes and know, within five-degree increments, which clothes to wear in all weather conditions.
When you get good, you do all of this and more without even thinking about it. The detailed, recorded measurements serve to make you a good runner, but soon you’ll learn, most good runs have little to do with any of it.
You will find, some of the best days are when you practically forget you’re running and you just enjoy the sights, the sounds, the smells, the beauty of the great outdoors. The rewards of just being immersed in nature can be immeasurable. I love those days.
As I’ve written this column over the years, I’ve noticed there are typically two types of “runners” out there present in every debate. There are those who want to measure everything, usually in terms of dollars, and there are those who want to measure the immeasurable, everything money can’t buy. It’s a matter of values, and I typically argue for the latter.
Case in point, we’ll never be able to buy a new Roan Plateau after the oil and gas industry consumes it for profits.
What’s the value in preserving it? To some, immeasurable.
What is its value to a bean counter interested in profits? About $22 billion.
Who’s right? They both are.
The complex web of interdependence demanded of an ever-expanding population allows for countless opposing solutions. The trick is in letting go of hardened views and blending the solutions of others into ours.
My pen has logged a lot of miles on the pages of this newspaper, searching for some solutions of my own. I can’t say for sure that I’ve found any, but I can say, for sure, that I’ve had a helluva lot of fun trying. This is my last column.
The stone-faced responses of my editor lately have told me what I already knew. I have too many irons in the fire to keep this iron hot. This job requires constant, unrelenting attention and I must admit to having too many distractions.
If I can’t give it my best, then I should step aside and let someone else give it theirs.
I’ve run my race. I’ve had a good run, but I want to stop columnizing while I still love doing it.
This column-thingy has been an incredible journey for me. It’s been an amazing learning experience in both public and private ways. People from all walks of life have thanked me for my words and I’ve even won some awards. People have also wished I was dead.
It all works out in the end. After all, it’s just words. Worthless to some, immeasurable to others.
Before I go, I’d like to extend a wholehearted thanks to all of my supporters. Thank you.
Sing with me!
A lump of laugh,
A spoon of cry,
A pound of think,
A ton of why,
An ounce of good,
A pinch of bad,
A chunk of happy,
A slice of mad,
A dash of lazy,
A peck of spite,
A skosh of crazy,
A load of right,
A splash of gator,
A drop of mud,
I’ll see ya later
And that was Fudd.
” Silt resident Bernie Boettcher measured this decision for 18 days, three hours and 32 seconds. You can e-mail him at: email@example.com
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