Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Last Continent

Well, this is it. In an hour or so I'll be on my way to the airport on my way to Buenos Aires, and then on the King George Island and the Antarctica Marathon and Half Marathon. This is my fifth time down, and I can tell you it gets better and better.

We're going on a different ship this year, the Sarpik. It's a bit smaller and a bit slower than the other ships that I've been on. What was a 44 hour crossing of the Drake Passage last year will take at least 58 hours this year. That's a LOT longer to be out there on the high seas.

The big lesson that I've learned from these Antarctica trips, and a column that you'll see later in the year, is that it's all about preparation. Preparation. Not planning. In Antarctica you can't have a plan. The island makes the decisions, not you. No matter what your plan is, the continent doesn't care.

I've tried to apply that lesson to the rest of my life. I'm focusing more on being prepared and less and less on having a plan. Whatever life plan I had when I was younger, it certainly hasn't turned out the way I planned. Even the more recent years of my life haven't gone as planned.

So, the next two weeks are the planet's chance to give me a graduate course in how little I really matter in the giant scheme of things. I will be in the presence of a power much greater than me. It will humble me and inspire me.

What could be better than that??

Waddle on.


Running Jayhawk said...

Good Luck, John! Can't wait to hear all about it when you return. :)

TriGirl Thea said...

Yes. Good Luck. And come back to us in one piece!

- And....although I know you must get this a lot, I just have to say that you are an inspiration! It was reading your column in Runner's World that convinced me that I wasn't past it, and that I just need to to get up off my backside! -

Giant round of applause and much cheering for you sir.


Martha Raney Taylor said...

this of course has application to everything in life, not just running. i plan to share this with the divorce recovery group i lead, as we talk a lot in our groups about how to keep going when life doesn't go as planned. THANKS JOHN!!

tara&guy santa barbara said...

I am blown away by the heft of your words....
Preparation not planning

I've read your column for years and credit you with giving me the courage to move my over-sized body and enjoy the feeling of movement.

These words will be with me as I move from my 40's to my 50's and beyond. Thank you for sharing them.
Waddle on!