Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I suppose it could just be coincidence, or it could be a meaningful coincidence--a synchronicity--but within two days of each other, I watched the documentary "Man on Wire" and began reading the book "Into Thin Air." (Yes, I read--so does Sandy Duncan, so did Sammy Davis, Jr.--so let's get on with it.) Both stories revolve around a man who is utterly driven to achieve a longtime dream. Both dreams entail almost superhuman physical challenge. And as both challenges force them to take on colossal structures--The World Trade Center and Mt. Everest, respectively--both carry with them the risk of certain death. And yet, both men ignore the risk, at least enough to persevere and achieve their dreams. Truly inspiring, both of them.
Yes, of course, I have met extraordinary physical challenges. You try to put out a pint of cum in three hours, it ain't easy.
Still, that's what I was made to do. These men weren't built to scale mountains or walk between them. But they had to. So I started wondering: what is my mountain? And on a certain level, if you have to ask, you don't have one. Which is normal; most creatures don't. But I'm not just any creature. I was sure that somewhere inside my head there lay, dormant these many years, a passion, a goal, a mission that required enormous strength. Yesterday, in therapy and under hypnosis, I remembered it.
I want to hit a major league fastball over the fence. Ron was nine years old when Roger Maris hit 61* home runs to beat Babe Ruth's single-season record. It was the most exciting thing we'd ever witnessed. I guess I couldn't help but identify with his bat, even then, and I resolved that one day I'd know what it felt like to hit the long ball. Now I've been batting balls around my entire career, but it's not the same. And all my home runs have been, you know, inside the park. To smash a four-bagger, I'd need to be harder than I've ever been. And my rejection of steroids is a matter of record, so it would require intense focus and physical training.
I realize that taking on a fastball could mean certain death, but like Petite and Krakauer, the dangers are secondary. I must do this. The training begins. Stay tuned...