So You Want to Live Forever...
We run, we cleanse, we freeze our brains—and then what?
these days my runs seem to peak out at about 10K, but there was a period in my life when I ran half marathons. Part of the early motivation then was a newfound delight in discovering I could ever be ar unner—while my sister had been a competitive marathon er (our family cheered her over the finish line at Boston back in 2007), childhood asthma had always held me back. One learn-to-run group in Vancouver later, and I had my sights set on the distance.
(An aside: The worst part of racing, I discovered, were those last couple of kilometres. Inevitably, some well-meaning spectator would shout out, “The finish line is just around corner!”—giving me hope that I really would see that arching banner around the next bend. A note to future spectators: the death of that hope when you realize that you still have two more kilometres to go is just a little bit crushing after you’ve already pushed yourself through 20.)
But of course the other, more important motivation was personal health and wellness. Our only slightly tongue-in-cheek story, “25 Ways to Live Forever” (page 39), explores all the tricks Vancouverites are using in their attempts to turn back the clock: some tested-and-true (walking to ward off cognitive decline), others less so (though it turns out Walt Disney never really had his head frozen, cryonics continues to be a thing). Our cover model, B.J. Hughes, is proof positive that marathon running keeps you young: the record-setting 89-yearold North Vancouverite was practically running circles around our photo crew.
Like any 40-something, I’ve tested my own share of rejuvenating products, from regular doses of high-EPA fish oil (success! my brain really does work better with it) to a hydrocolonic (don’t ask). But I’ve also come to appreciate that living forever is just one part of the equation. We need to continue to invest ourselves into creating a community that we want to live forever in.
As I write this, I’m days away from heading to Seattle to join the Women’s March and add my voice to those of our friends south of the border. Part of wanting to live forever means living in a place where our hard-won rights stay protected and where we all work to create a better place than the one we entered into. As much as I’ve had sleepless nights since the most recent U.S. election, I’ve also grown hopeful about being a part of a chrysalis moment, when we all stand up for what’s important—for many more decades to come.