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Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 03:57 AM MDT

Stay Within Yourself

ColumnsAs I flipped through a newspaper at work the other day, a story caught my eye. Apparently, a group of people got together and swam across the Chesapeake Bay.

“Don't they know there's a perfectly good bridge right there,” I said to a co-worker.

Now I know this is an annual event which raises money for charity, but I just don't understand why someone would look at a body of water like the Chesapeake, then look at the bridge and still come to the conclusion that swimming is a good option. My boss told me that the people – some of whom have actually taken on this task 20 times – do it for the challenge. That's what I figured, but I told her that I thought conquering challenges like that was way overrated.

I'm not saying that I have no ambition. I do. I just think people should spend their time doing ambitious things that don't seem so crazy.

Maybe I'm a little jaded because of some other things I have seen in the news lately. I think my opinion is affected by the coverage I have seen coming from Mount Everest.

This apparently is climbing season at the world's tallest mountain, which means lots of people feel the need to say they climbed the world's tallest mountain.

What these people don't seem to understand is that people die trying to climb Everest. And not just a few. I heard a veteran climber speaking a few weeks ago about the number of deaths each year on Everest almost casually. It's just part of the deal, he said.

Why this hasn't scared off every average person from going anywhere near Everest, I'll never know. They have sent cameras up with climbers. The movie version is much safer.

I learned a long time ago to stay within certain limits. I had brothers who all ran cross country at some point in their lives, and they encouraged me to do the same to prepare for wrestling season.

I didn't need long to realize that I didn't like running long distances. Sure, I had to so some running to get in shape and lose weight, but I didn't want to overdo it.

That didn't strop me from running a 10K one spring in high school. My feet swelled up so bad that I missed most of my girlfriend's graduation because I couldn't get shoes back on my feet.

Even with that, I signed up for a triathlon a year later at my high school. You ran a few miles first, then rode the bike for a while, then swam a bunch of laps in the pool. I barely survived.

Somewhere on the biking leg, I pulled a muscle in my shoulder. I could barely lift my arm over my head during the swimming portion. I had to do sidestroke and a modified breast stroke.

But I finished. I don't think I finished in last place, although that really didn't matter in the whole scheme of things because I learned a very valuable lesson.

Don't try and do too much because, one day, you might find yourself ignoring a perfectly good bridge and swimming across a large body of water.

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Tracked on Wednesday, August 24 2011 @ 08:59 AM MDT

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