I finally broke down and started watching Unbreakable, the new movie about Western States 100. I had gotten a copy before the race in June, but after screwing up my feet and not being able to run it (after years of dying to get in), I couldn’t bring myself to even open the box. But, yesterday I decided it was time to bite the bullet, and loaded it into my kids’ XBox 360 (apparently it’s also a DVD player. Who knew?). After a few false starts, and an accidental game of Halo with some kid named Voldemort88, I finally figured out which buttons to press to watch a movie.
And let me tell you, I WANT TO BE A TRAIL RUNNER! Oh, and be able to jump off mountains like Killian Jornet. And have zero body fat like Anton Krupicka. And be as funny and nice as Geoff Roes and Hal Koerner. Am I being unrealistic?
Of course not. Except for these small inconveniences:
1. I fall down A LOT. Like once per run, even on a flat track.
2. I get lost A LOT. Okay, maybe not on a track, but I have gotten lost on looped courses. Where I’d already run the loop 5 times!
3. I’m deathly afraid of heights. This makes running on mountains a little iffy.
4. I can’t really run downhill (see #1 above).
5. I’m a big scaredy cat, especially of other big cats. Unfortunately, there aren’t many trail runs in my area that don’t involve a real risk of encountering a carnivore.
6. I can’t see in the dark. I had a botched eye surgery 10 years ago, and I have very little depth perception. In the dark, even with a headlamp, everything looks flat. This is a bad thing for trail running because there are rocks and stuff, you know?
7. I like a lot of attention. In trail running, you don’t get to see anyone who loves you for a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time. In looped running, you get to see your peeps every mile. I’m high maintenance that way.
8. I like to eat. Because you only get to visit an aid station every 6 miles, or so, in a trail race, you have to ration what you eat. You can’t walk around carrying a plate of food. This leads you to eat a bunch of icky stuff, like gels just because they’re portable. In looped running, you get to have a nice little “real” snack every 10 or 15 minutes. How cool is that?
9. I like to travel light. Expanding on number #8, since you have to carry your food (and drink) with you to run trails, you are like a beast of burden. Not so for looped running. Just leave everything on a table and pay a visit whenever you feel like it.
10. I’m not cool enough to be a good trail runner. Let’s face it, trail runners are badasses. Watching Unbreakable just reaffirmed for me that I would probably spend a lot of my time whining and complaining, and thus, would get left on a mountain by the “cool kids”. And frankly, I wouldn’t even blame them.
Seriously, this movie will make you crave trail running. Then, it’s up to you to decide if you have what it takes. Scaredy cats, wimps and whiners need not apply.