Amongst our group of friends there is a common joke involving one of us being taken out by a mountain lion (as opposed to the more clever, and much more dangerous, Cougar, whose stalking grounds often involve some of our favorite bars). The scary thing about mountain lions is not the fact that they prowl the mountains where we often run; they are scary because we insist on running through their hunting grounds at exactly the same time they like to hunt. This is often the case because our group rarely does anything in a timely fashion, resulting in runs that usually start when the sun is going down. Mountain lions like this time of day for two reasons; 1) because mammalian eyes don’t work as well in transitioning light (except if you are a cat), and 2) deer like to hang out and eat grass during this time of day. Deer are just about as dumb as we are. Our jokes usually involve describing a scene in which one of us (usually me because I’m the largest and therefore have the most meat) being taken out in an open field tackle by a mountain lion. The joke is always good for a laugh, especially when it’s so dark that we can’t see the trail anymore. The mountain lion joke is funny because while there is an incredibly low chance of being mauled the danger is still out there, so the jokes make us feel better. But today on my run I realized that we don’t joke about the one predatory animal that really is a danger (at least in my mind); homeless dudes.
Before you get all PC on me and freak out think about this; if you do enough trail runs by urban areas you will eventually notice at least a few campsites and fire rings. And while it is cute to assume that these are from high school kids who are looking to go on a little adventure to smoke some pot and drink some beer that probably isn’t the case, especially when there are tents and sleeping bags that look like they are ten years old. The better assumption is that you are trespassing in what someone considers their home. Even if that “home” is in the middle of a national forest.
Homeless people can generally be defined by two major traits; they are in a bad place in life and they are probably crazy. This makes for a horrible combination when you are a few miles into a trail winding up an isolated canyon and you stumble into their home base. Ideally you keep running, but sometimes the proximity of homeless crazy to trail is a little too close for comfort and you have to slow down to step around the situation. This presents the opportune time for said crazy homeless person to shank you. Obviously, not all homeless people are murderous predators. Just like not all Republicans are idiots who think that cute phrases such as “Joe Six-pack” and the inability to conduct a question and answer session without notes written on their hand somehow means they are qualified to lead the most well armed and powerful country in the world. But, like Republicans, it only takes one homeless crazy to really screw up your day. And the fact is this; you are way more likely to come across a homeless guy than a mountain lion. And that homeless guy is way more likely to be pissed that you have run into his house. Watch your asses out there. It’s a jungle. The Feed:
Men’s Journal has up what could be considered a dumb meat head approach to fitness. The post is called “Be Your Own Trainer” and contains some, I guess, good tips. My issue is that it focuses solely on strength training and sprint work which, while good for getting into shape, do little for all around fitness. I’m stoked that you can bench two hundred pounds and sprint hard for 50 yards, but it’s going to suck when you have to haul your giant ass around for more than two miles.
Check out the Adventure Life for a great post about endangered species photography with photographer Joel Sartore. The video below is the “portrait trailer” for his new book Rare – Portraits of Endangered Species.