Introduction

Hello, thank you for joining me along my journey of becoming a Runner! I've always been an active guy, played sports in high school and continued into adult recreation sports after high school. As I started my family and found a career, the activity level slowly decreased. Well my Fiance had enough of our lazy ways and started on the Weight Watchers program and completely overhauled our daily meals. Step 2 was getting more active, so we decided to JOG our annual Juvenile Diabetes charity walk and actually enjoyed the activity. The month following the charity walk, we signed up for our first official 5K and had an absolute blast. From that point forward I have officially been BIT by the running bug and this is my journey to becoming a RUNNER!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Feeling Very Torn Today


Arizona is H-O-T this time of year!!  Many people, even those that call Arizona their home, do not properly prepare themselves for the elements.  More importantly, if you’re visiting you are at a distinct disadvantage of knowing just how brutal the weather can be.  Over the past week, the news has reported that 3 people have passed away and 2 people needed search and rescue while hiking here in AZ.  One of the lives lost was actually on the mountain that I hike each week which is pretty scary and obviously raised concern with Mrs. Schlub.  The three people who lost their lives, one of which was a 12 year old boy, can only be categorized as a great tragedy.  One would hope that a leisure activity like hiking would not come with such heavy costs but unfortunately the elements are much tougher than most actually plan for.  Seeing these reports leaves me with two overwhelming thoughts…

Angry – Why are people not doing their homework before they go out on the trails??  I can honestly say, the park services in AZ do a really good job of putting signage and notices up to remind everyone about the dangers on the trail.  Depending on the season, you will see signage cautioning about the high temperatures, the wildlife in the area, and even the dangerous terrain.  Aside from posting a park ranger at every park and every entrance to every trail, I’m not sure how much more the park service’s can do to try and keep us safe.  It’s this last point that leads me to my second thought…

Disappointed – I am really disappointed with myself.  I totally understand that in no way could I have made an impact in any of these tragedies over the last week.  But I know there have been a large number of times that I am going up or down the trail and come across someone who looks extremely tired or doesn’t seem to have any water.  As someone who is passionate about trail running and observing the rules of the trails, I need to use these situations as an opportunity to help others.  Stop and see if I can help in any way and more specifically, remind those without water of the dangers the high temperatures can bring.  The park services is doing their part, but I feel like the fellow hikers are not doing their part in holding each other accountable to being properly prepared out on the trails.

So with that, I have a couple take-aways for myself today.  First, I need to do a better job of helping others on the trails.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been annoyed with hikers because they are on “my mountain”.  They are blocking up the trail, listening to music, and generally not following good hiking habits.  That is no excuse, simply providing recommendations could make a world of difference.  How differently one of these situations would have been if someone had stopped and said “Excuse me, it looks like you may not have enough water for this hike”.  Second, I need to start bringing extra water with me in the future.  I always bring plenty of water when I’m on the trails, but you can never have enough.  By throwing a couple extra water bottles in my pack, it could make the world of difference for someone I run into on the trails.

Does anyone else hear about these types of tragedies in their area??  What types of take aways would you recommend to me for these types of situations??

5 comments:

  1. We have a lot of kids left in hot cars in Atlanta. That is always a big problem in the summer. When in doubt, always ask someone if they need help!

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  2. we have a lot of snow and winter related deaths here every year, due to avalanches, exposure etc. Most often it's someone who might go off route, ski the back country on a high avalanche day, or someone who just isn't prepared. And as you said, people from outside the area may be "experienced" in whatever they are doing , but they grossly underestimate the weather conditions in a place they are not familiar with! Ignorance and over confidence seem to be the two biggest factors! Like you I see people doing things in my "neighborhood" and get incredibly annoyed! I am always surprised at the stupid things I see, like kids sledding into a street! All kinds of things....I think bringing extra water is a really nice thing to do, but don't be surprised if they don't want it...

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  3. I think it is a "lack of respect" for the elements. We have that problem here in NH too--usually with the weather turning unexpectedly cold. One should always be prepared for spending longer on the trails then they planned, and have back-up plans. I do think that people who aren't familiar with the environment get themselves into more trouble.
    We should all be looking out for each other out there. Kudos to you for bringing extra water!

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  4. Wow that is really sad news. While it gets extremely hot here too I never really think of people putting themselves into dangerous situations since I run in public areas where you can just pop into the store and buy a drink or hit up a water fountain if necessary.

    That would be really nice of you to bring extra water on the run for anyone in need, but I think just a simple, "hi, it looks like you've forgotten to bring water. It can get up to X degrees here, so you might want to pop back to the store for a bottle" would be enough in most circumstances. Some people just don't know and just need a reminder/someone to educate them.

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  5. Given the amount of time I spend climbing/scrambling "no-fall" and remote terrain, I like to think I have a good grasp on this topic. It is completely on oneself to be responsible for the decisions one makes -- good or bad. I don't believe anyone can or should be held liable for another's accident. That being said, I also believe that one has a moral obligation to help someone who is in noticeable need of help. This however must always, however, come second to the safety and well-being of the helper.

    About the water, I am often up on mountains with no food or water myself. I know with certainty that its okay for me to do this, but I sometimes feel chastised for my decision. Still, I am almost inevitably asked at some point (if I see others) if I need water. Even if I am a bit thirsty, I know that by no means should I be reliant on others; I decided I didn't want to deal with the hassle of a bottle and I will firmly stand by that choice.

    I think it the end it comes down to understanding your limits, abilities and needs. This process takes time and should be initially tested with excess rather than minimalism. I've run across many vastly underprepared, unskilled and/or ill-equiped person out there. All you can do is offer the help which you can at the time.

    Anyone who ventures out up a mountian, into a canyon or into the woods implicitly is accepting a certain amount of risk. This is always the case whether they understand this fact or not. Disaster can happen anywhere and anytime, that's just the way it is; any other way would take away from what makes going into nature special.

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