Last week, I was working out at Long Island’s “CrossFit, The Rock” and trying hard not to be noticed. Compared to much of their clientele (firefighters, football pros, mixed marshal artists), I am far from impressive. So I like to hang out in the back corner of the “box” (CrossFit-speak for “gym”), plowing through my workout, trying not to cry or die.
One of my favorite movies as I was growing was The Other Side of the Mountain, based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Up: The Story of Jill Kinmont by Evans G. Valens. In this inspirational and heartbreaking true story, Jill is a national championship skier who has a terrible skiing accident, leaving her a quadriplegic right before her 19th birthday. The movie followers her long road to emotional recovery, including her life-changing long-distance romance with Dick “Mad Dog” Buek, himself an exceptional skier and later a stunt daredevil.