Charlie

 

My life of daring adventures started in the 60s, when I would hike & do overnights in the Whites with almost no proper equipment or conditioning. Your body is much more forgiving when youíre 19. After getting married, most of my energy went into working on my house & garden for 10 years. But in the early 80s, I developed atrial fibrillation, a complication aggravated by lack of conditioning. I realized that my body wasnít going to take care of itself. I began road biking; an aerobic activity that has remained number one ever since.

I changed careers in 81, joined the medical device company; developing implants & surgical instruments. This is the time & place where the activities group began to form. It was mostly bike excursions & hikes in the local small mountains (<4000ft). I survived a fractured skull in a bike accident in 85, when I misjudged the intentions of a stray dog. Some PhDs attribute various behavioral quirks to this blow to the head. It wasnít long before I was back on the bike. My wife & 2 daughters were uninterested in my physical endeavors; most of my routine biking was solo. My favorite bike activity was the early morning rides to the coast; starting about 3:30am on a weekend morning. Riding on empty roads in the dark, I would make one of several 20 mile trips to the coast, timing the ride to catch the rising sun, emerging from the water.

Midway thru the 90s, I made another career change; worked at a great consumer device company in the middle of the big city. I left behind the company that spawned the PhDs, but stayed with the group. We continued more ambitious trips, including AMC hut overnights.

As the millenium drew to a close, my marriage failed, my daughters grew old enough to attain a level of independence, & a whole new chapter of energy & activity opened up. During the early part of my post-marital period, I would entertain my PhD friends with stories from my newfound single life. I also sometimes found myself feeling the need to take refreshing naps on various PhD couches at the end of our periodic planning meetings. The past 5 years has brought a great variety of non-PhD social companions & world travel adventures; including the Peruvian Andes, the glaciers of Iceland, and the jungles of the Yucatan. My aching knees have finally failed; Iím recovering from a knee replacement. This has slowed things down, but the adventures continue; fishing & kayaking have been added to the repertory. I have built a fishbike to access remote ponds, & bought a fishing kayak to find quarry in the swampy backwaters or remote streams; proving that even a pastime as sloth as fishing can still have an element of adventure & daring. The social relationships come & go; the search for a life companion continues. Recently, Iíve realized that my soul isnít going to take care of itself either. A life long atheist, Iíve joined & become active in a New Thought Christian church down on the Cape. Consequently, I have taken on the unofficial role of chaplain to the PhDís. Sometimes I canít believe it, but you have to keep an open mind & keep changing. Thereís always something new to do. But, you need some old stuff too; and the PhDs certainly qualify as old. Iím glad the PhDs are there.