Dave Reuss, Other Adventures

The Lookout
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - 3:26pm Dave Reuss

The last of the sky’s aubergine tint has faded to black, and now it’s anywhere from eleven at night to four in the morning. The miles and hours pile on top of each other until it’s impossible to tell what time it is. The straps of my backpack are soaked through with sweat, and the thick log I’m carrying on my shoulder keeps slipping, biting into my neck. I grunt and heave it back into place, and we start running again.

A headlamp flashes back at me and says, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” Squishing along behind him, my shoes still wet from the last stream crossing, I shake my head.

“No,” I say. “You’re wrong.”

Pain is pain. It hurts, and that’s all.

Orwell said it best: “Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.”

But here we are, hiking through town for hours, hauling 45-pound packs through the dark—less heroic than insane.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 2:25pm Dave Reuss

“On this dive, we’ll do regulator recovery and a full mask flood,” Jeff says, the cold water lapping around his face as we bob in the middle of River Rock Pond outside Belgrade. I nod, my buoyancy control device pumped full and squeezing my ribs. Jeff is a self-professed hillbilly. He owns a massive Chevy pickup that pumps out country music. He got into diving in the military, and now he not only dives for fun, but he’s also a member of the sheriff’s search-and-rescue team. He’s testing me on my final scuba certification. We take our last breath of real air and slowly sink to the bottom.

River Rock Belgrade Scuba Sports Cove Bozeman

Back in the swimming pool, I could do mask floods all day. We’d practiced swimming from one end to the other maskless. No problem.

Surrounded by the pond’s murky brown water, there’s no sound—short of the steady chorus of deep sucking breaths followed by the bubbling exhale out around my mask. Unlike on the surface, breathing takes thought.

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