Nobody said this stuff was supposed to be good for you.
Wes Welker is a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos. (I should pause here to say that I don’t follow sports much, I’m fuzzy on the details of what happened and all of this could well be made up. But I’m posting it on the internet, so it must be true.)
He was in a game last weekend when a defensive player hit him in the head at 200 mph. Apparently this is a bad thing. Worse, the NFL recently started pretending to care about concussions since there’s a threat they might have to pay for their lax attitude. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s three concussions for Welker in 10 months.
My favorite part of the story: Peyton Manning — world’s most cerebral, cool-headed quarterback, the guy who criticized teams for fighting during preseason because it doesn’t prepare them for the real season, the guy — later sprinted down the field after the safety allowed a touchdown, got in his face, and gave him an audible: “F*** YOU!!!!!!” He said afterward that the defender was quite appreciative of his analysis.
Speculators have been speculating since. Is this the end of Welker’s career? Does he dare play anymore?
I turned to my go-to NFL analyst, Mo Sheppo. If I’m his wife, said she, I’m never letting him step on the field again. Too dangerous. Not worth it.
Which, of course, is rational. The problem is that nobody really is.
Why do we run? We constantly push the boundaries of safety. We run in extreme heat, crazy cold, distances that will leave us limping toward the grave. We take stupid chances in remote places where one misstep will lead to our demise. It’s got nothing to do with health. It’s something else. That call of the wild (that should be a book!). The need to push ourselves past our limits, pause, admire that new limit and push past it again. To be alive in a world that wants to lull us into complacency.
I’m sure his Mr. Welker’s head is telling him stop. Walk away while you can. But his heart is telling him it’s not even a choice. You must do what you love to do for as long as you can do it. Damn the consequences.
I hope he’s OK. And I hope he keeps playing. Maybe just running routes to the outside. I hope his wife doesn’t kill him.
Me? It’s 95, way too hot to run. Too dangerous. Not worth it. So I’m going to go run. And if life thinks otherwise?
Mr. Peyton Manning taught me how to respond.