My friend Wayne shared this on Facebook the other day, and I thought I would post it here. It's a half hour documentary about the Birkie from 1980. For some reason, this video evokes a lot of nostalgia for me. I suppose it's because I was 5 years old in 1980, but I vaguely remember my mom heading out to ski the Birkie throughout those years. The video pretty much lines up exactly with my little kid memories. It's like I'm watching it through five year old eyes again.
I do have to give a lot of credit to my mom. I remember going up and watching her finish and deciding, "yeah, I'm going to do that race some day." People don't talk about the Birkie like they do a marathon or a century bike ride. The Birkie scares people a little more. They talk about it like an expedition to Antarctica.
I think that's the beauty and the poetry of the Birkie though. If you get tired on a 100 mile bike ride in the middle of July, you can stop and wait for a car to come by and get you. If you stop in the middle of the Birkie when it's -10, you're going to freeze to death. That is AWESOME! I love that people feel COMPELLED to put themselves in that place.
In a world where we spend all of our time staring at artificial digital screens and getting all worked up over stupid emails and snarky bits of news, it's good for the soul to go out and push your mind and body to the limit in the midst of a raging Wisconsin winter. When you cross the finish line, you understand what reality is, and all the stupid daily stresses that drive us nuts take a back-seat...and you know only joy and satisfaction.
Why is it that joy and satisfaction are in short supply these days? The answer is you're not skiing enough!
People...skiing isn't a choice. It's something you HAVE to do to remember what it feels like to be alive!
BIRKIE FEVER!!!! The best day of the year is right around the corner!