“‘Go to it, to your purpose’. That is yamato-damashii.”
– Hidetaka Suzuki
There are quotes and movies and clips we see that will stick with us forever in our lives. For me, most of the old climbing video “Masters of Stone” (IV, was it?) is one of those. The shots of Ron Kauk and various other legends (and heros of mine) still inspire me so much even to this day.
That quote “Go to it, to your purpose,” spoken in broken English by a lean, incredibly strong Japanese dude I’d never heard of … is one of my favourites of all. It’s something I tell myself (and others): “Run with purpose.”
Yamato-Damashii is a complex thing, with its own wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamato-damashii) but the only thing that matters to me are things like this: “A traditional … concept of death-defying valor” and “… “the possession of a strong spirit and emotion that will meet any challenge, even at the expense of one’s own life.”
So I’ve rented a house in Colorado for the summer. Two houses, actually. One for almost two months, another for race week. I am leaving Vancouver, packing my few possessions and my dog, and my running shoes, and heading into the hills. I am, as of June 15th or so, going to be a full-time runner. I will acclimatize to the altitude as best as anyone can, over the course of 9 full weeks. I will run the course, climb hill after hill, and immerse myself in ultra-running, and attempt to find myself out there in the mountains!
My friend calls me misanthropic and says that I have all the perfect personality traits for being a hermit, so I think this Leadville thing is going to be great. My g/f says “As long as I’ve known you, you’ve been talking about doing this!” (running away to live in the mountains, she means…) I suppose it’s true, that the city wears me down…
Anyway, so that’s the story. My home for the summer:
Once upon a time, this sleepy town was the second largest city in Colorado. Now, the population is only 2,600 or so! It’s also the second highest municipality in the USA (the highest city) at over 10,000 ft of elevation. Apparently Doc Holliday moved here after the gunfight at the OK Corral. He even shot someone here.
It’s cold there too, at least, potentially, so I’m hoping the dog does ok. Maybe I can get her into some early morning and late night runs. Would be nice to teach her to howl, I wonder if there’s wolves around Leadville?
“My name’s Wyatt Earp. It all ends here.”