Be a Geek and a Jock

A friend of mine in college once contrasted Russell Crowe and Vin Diesel.  One, she said, was great actor but a horrible human being; the other was a great human being but a horrible actor.  The point was that the ideal actor would be some combination of Crowe and Diesel, perhaps “Russell Diesel” or “Vin Crowe” (actually, I like that one!).  “Vin Crowe” would be the best of both worlds.  But what surprised me is her mention that Vin Diesel plays Dungeons and Dragons.

Yes, the star of the Fast and the Furious series rolls a D20.

And Diesel’s no casual fan, either.  Playing for 20 years, he’s been a DM for many campaigns, written material for D & D manuals, and had his favorite PC tattooed on him.  It’s such a surprise because a high-profile action star isn’t what one has come to expect from the typical role-playing geek.  Well, there shouldn’t be such a thing.

What disarms me the most is how fit he is.


Pace Yourself

Preparation is key.  Petroleum jelly in the right places, sunblock everywhere.  A bandanna covers my forehead, for the sun as well as the sweat.  My water bottles are filled and stowed away on my belt, and I strap my timer to it as well.  Power gels or gummies are shoved into the front pocket.  Everything ready, I stride out the door into the sun.

The first minute is always the hardest.  Getting the stride back takes effort through no effort, much like thinking without thinking in Zen meditation.  You don’t think too much about moving your feet; after a few minutes, your muscle memory will do the work for you.

I remember to time my breath.  In two steps, out two steps, in two, out two.  It comes naturally; I don’t break rhythm.  If I feel winded or my legs ache, I shorten my stride.

On most days, running liberates me.  But not last Saturday.