Friday, October 12, 2007


Upon joining this scene, I began compiling a list of potential blog topics. Instead of concentrating on items directly related to, say, music or running, I hope to broaden the criteria to the lowest common denominator. The most popular blogs have sort of a universal appeal by tackling subjects to which almost anyone can relate, while those dedicated specifically to one subject can only expect to grow as large as their niche. Building such an inventory is the easiest ingredient in maintaining a successful blog. Determining what will be of interest to you is much more difficult, since you may not care that I run on trails or have a kid. But the list continues to grow. Some of these are worth a diatribe, while others are simply spontaneous observations designed to spark some dialogue. I call these morsels Observationisms. I’ll throw one down from time to time. Most of the current crop are simple complaints about how things are done or made, and maybe I’m looking for some enlightenment on a subject I know little or nothing about. After all, doesn't ignorance breed controversy?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

U2 – War, Track 10

I’m fortunate in that I reached such a landmark age without regrets. Instead of ruing over the past, I direct my focus forward. Rather than be envious of what I once was, I’m jealous of the person I hope to become. I know some who have carved themselves a nice rut and react by cheating on their mates or buying a trophy car. Still others retire from their dead-end jobs and die at home because they have no outside interests. Although I don’t have any true misgivings over the choices made over the years, I can cite at least one disappointment borne from the aftermath of those choices – my music ‘career’. I remember years ago being contacted by a talent agency who was fronted a copy of my first album. They envisioned a future too esoteric for my Midwestern laurels, and I chose to decline their offer. Sometime later, the lead singer of a Christian 'NSYNC-type act rang me up, raving about my second CD and looking for a keyboardist to join his band for a long-term residency at Disneyworld. I developed deep-seeded issues with his ego and eventually passed on the opportunity. More recently, I was contacted by the lead singer of a seminal ‘80s band to go on tour in the US and abroad. I would have made the perfect fit – I knew all of the synth parts, and could sing any of the harmonies on key. The singer, whom I had idolized for years, soon learned the depth of my reverence and pursued me even more aggressively. However, I saw this as fulfilling his ambitions and not my own and again skipped on the gig.

I have since ‘retired’ from music to pursue other passions such as trailrunning and my new family. I leave a legacy that lies wholly unfulfilled, with boxes of unsold CDs and half-finished songs that may have spawned even more prospects to turn down. Looking back, I wonder where I would be today if I had said ‘yes’ to any of those opportunities. Someone must have known that my successes were to be found elsewhere. I guess that’s why I’m always looking ahead.

Monday, October 8, 2007


A few weeks ago, my friend Dave and I planned a weekend trail run in the Indian Peaks Wilderness near Eldora, Colorado. I was ready to decompress after a stressful workweek and explore an area I had only previously tackled on snowshoes. We decided to open up the casual trek to any interested parties by posting a note on the local trailrunners’ Yahoo group. One person replied by the end of the week - a guy named Kurt. We offered to collect him at the local market in nearby Nederland, and then carpool to the nearby Fourth of July Trailhead. Upon arriving at the parking lot, we noticed a late ‘70s, brick red F-150 with a camper shell and Alaska plates. An unassuming, bespectacled, early-fifties-looking man carrying no water, fuel, or gear popped out from behind the camper, ready to go. We exchanged pleasantries and piled into my ’98 Jetta for a short trip to the trailhead. Along the way, Kurt talked about his last year of gold prospecting in Alaska and various races all of us had completed. He recognized every person we mentioned in conversation, although neither Dave nor I had ever met or heard of Kurt before this day. Soon we were stretching outside of the car with a tentative goal of Arapaho Pass. As our journey veered off-trail into sub-alpine meadows and beyond, our marvel in Kurt’s mountain goat-caliber scrambling prowess reached ethereal proportions. Much of Kurt’s day was spent waiting on us, yet he offered only words of encouragement and at the end of the day remarked how this was one of the best outings he’d ever experienced. Over the next few days, Dave and I retold the tale of this zen-like master to many within our running circles, only to find that many already knew of whom we were describing. The man known as Kurt was actually 62-year-old mountain runner legend Kurt Blumberg, with many trailrunning titles (and anecdotes) to his credit. It seems that his health secret of sleeping on magnets has paid off in a big way.

There are stories of Kurt running the 2001 Zane Grey 50K bottomless and posting decisive age-group wins at the Pikes Peak Marathon and the Imogene Pass Run. I can only imagine the accomplishments and accompanying tales that did not make the trailrunning archives. Here’s to you, Kurt. I hope we can catch-up (to you) again soon.