It's less than a week before I head out to Ruggerfest in Aspen. It was nice to get a run in two weeks ago in the Old Boys game with the East Side Banshees. The thing that has been sticking in my mind for the past couple of weeks is that with the huffing and puffing I was doing while playing at our low-altitude here in Minnesota, I am set to play less than 24 hours after getting into Colorado at an altitude of 8,200 feet in Aspen.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspen,_Colorado
I have been thinking about the last time I actually tried running in Colorado. It was 25 years ago. My wife and I were both in the Air Force, and my wife was at her tech school to become an Air Force Camera woman in what was then Lowry Air Force Base. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowry_Air_Force_Base
I remember telling her that I was going to go for a job while she was at class. She had an odd smile on her face when I told her this, but I did not pay it any mind. I was 24 years old, in great shape, and nothing was going to prevent me from getting a run in that morning. I remember taking off and after about a half mile feeling like a really fat person was sitting on my chest. That was my introduction to trying to be active at high altitude. It got me to thinking just how good a shape you have to be in to play a sport like basketball or Ice Hockey at that kind of altitude.
Well, next week I will be rediscovering the joys of exercise at altitude at Ruggerfest in the over-35 division. My fellow Metropolis RFC grey-beards and I will be teaming up with the Omaha Goats Old Boys, The Golden Goats. http://goatsrugby.com/ Mercifully, in the old boys divisions, they will be allowing rolling substitutes, kind of like what they do in ice hockey, which is a good thing, otherwise the Aspen newswires would writing about a bunch of old rugby players having the Big One out on the rugby pitch.
In speaking with some of my other Metropolis mates, the rugby actually seems to be secondary. Most of them marvel and speak with great affection about the parties, socials and scenary in Aspen.
I owe a huge thanks to my Daughter, Rachel, who gave me her air miles so that I could do this trip (Money has been tight in the Nursedude household)