Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm Going in for the Kill, I'm Doing it for the Thrill

I've been thinking about rules lately. Rules run our lives even if we think we are above the law; even in the last frontier rules run the state as wild and strong as the moose. It seems everyday some new rule is being enforced to "better" our lives but working in the ticket booth at the center has shown me that people always want to be the exception to the rule. So is it true that winners never cheat and cheaters never win?

For an athlete cheating makes you weak. Cheating means selling yourself short and shaming your name and who ever else you represent. There are times during training, when your muscles burn and your body begs to quit and that moment of weakness speaks up, "that's good enough, no one will know if you end a lap short, or take this short cut," but all great athletes know the difference between a win based on hard work and dedication versus a win fallaciously gained. So what does a great athlete do? They bust ass until they can perform better than their competition, with in the boundary of the rules.   Your everyday person seems to feel differently however.

Every time I work ticket booth, I say the same spiel "we ask that you please do NOT attempt to feed or pet the animals and keep off the enclosures as they are electric" and you know what? I get the same jokes maybe a hundred times a day. Then we walk around the center and see people trying to reach their hands in, or fussing about the interns feeding the moose bananas and why can't they feed them bananas. What's the deal then? Why do so many people assume they can just act-a-fool. All that really comes to mind is this, after the cold cruel world deals you blow after blow you start to think that someone owes you something. You'd do anything to be rebellious and feel alive and in control again; I figure this because there is a stop sign literally two seconds from my house that has me stop at a bogus four-way stop, so what do I do- run it. Yeah it's unsafe and breaking the law but my goodness does it give me thrills. Alright what was I thinking, let's all live lawless and free y'all- YEEHAW. Not! I know I'm about to sound way cliche but I've practiced what I'm about to preach so check it. What's cooler than cheating and breaking rules and that you can actually control? *Jeapordy theme music plays* Your temper! Be like the athlete that uses mind over muscle and wills their body to preserver. You know that song, "I fought the law and the law won"? Well guess what, the law always does win, so instead of trying to "stick it to the man" stick it to your super ego and control your impulses. There may not be a rush of excitement, like that first bite of brownie-sundae Sunday but I promise the long term effects feel much more rewarding, like a jog to Moose Flats after an 11 hour work day. Oh you know what I mean...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Long Way to Run

I promised I would keep up Sports and the City and I always keep my promises. The next few columns will be special seeing as I’m in Alaska, the sports and city will be focused on sports and situations I’ve encountered while here. You’re smart- I know there is no need to explain…
            So in 1995 Universal released a “true story about an American hero” Balto! As a child I truly just liked the fact that a half wolf could be as awesome and sweet as Balto and that he saved this little girl’s life because she was kind to him when no one else was. Very touching. Today as I think about that movie a lot of great lessons and morals spill from the story line. We have Balto, the protagonist, a half-breed looked down upon by society (as is always the case with society it seems; you’d think after centuries society would stop being so cliché but I digress) decides he can prove his worth and save the children of Nome by leading a dogsled team to retrieve valuable medicine. The elements that seem worth focusing on, as adults, would be the “pure-breed” haters, dogsled teams and proving one’s worth.
Certain people are always going to judge and look down upon others but you’ll have to realize that the reasons for their hate are never because there is something wrong with you (unless you are a low-life miscreant or leech to society) it’s because of their own insecurities. The only way to rid yourself of the haters is just to keep your head high and follow the path in life that makes you happy. Enjoy your life because it’s the only one you may get.
            Now a dogsled team seems very interesting to me because essentially it is a group of powerful animals pulling a human through some of the most unforgiving terrain and harsh weather known to man. If one dog decides to stop carrying its weight or turns on the pack the whole team would fall apart and that human would be up a creek, giving new meaning to the saying, “stay frosty.”
 Working here at the AWCC I realize we are a lot like a dogsled team in reverse. If some of the interns stop caring and give up on carrying their weight the animals we are rehabilitating would not be able to survive. We all rely on each other to know what to do; we pull each other forward in order to reach the same goal- conservation. The Husky is an incredibly intelligent and strong dog and at times hardheaded and stubborn. That describes some of the interns here to a T. What we want to strive for is the Balto character. He would have been happy just being on the team following the pack leader but when he didn’t even get that chance he stepped up as a leader and proved that sometimes those left in charge can’t be followed blindly. Part of being strong and intelligent is knowing your leaders aren’t always right and never trying to lead by threats or fear. The dogs run together out of respect for one another. I believe mutual respect can pull a team throw the harshest of times. So in the grand scheme of life, what are you trying to achieve and how will you prove your worth?