Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, March 27, 2005



Picture Elvis. A young Elvis. He's maybe 23 years old. He's slim, wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. Elvis' hair is black.

I saw Elvis today. I was in the last 1/4 of an O' practice. I was running a control picking course at Knob Noster. I drifted a little of my line and saw him -- Elvis -- standing in the forest. At least he looked like Elvis.

It was a very strange experience.

Now and then I see people when I'm orienteering. Usually they are other orienteers. Sometimes I'll see birdwatchers, hikers or hunters. Before today I'd never seen Elvis in the woods.

When I'm orienteering well, I concentrate on what I'm doing. I've had races where I've met people in the woods without noticing them. On the other hand, when I'm not concentrating well, I notice other orienteers. I notice who I see in the woods. I exchange a few words.

I think a lot of orienteers make mistakes when they see someone in the woods. Either they think about seeing someone, and lose concentration, or they think about being watched, and lose concentration.

When I saw Elvis today, I waved and said "hello." I looked at my map and found the next control. But, my concentration was shot. The rest of the course, only about another ten minutes, I fought to keep concentration. My mind kept wandering. I kept wondering what Elvis was doing out in the middle of the woods (he was near, but not on a hiking trail).

posted by Michael | 8:32 PM


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