Lewis Hooper stared intently into the abyss that he perceived his life to be. His soul yearned to be extraordinary, bigger than life itself. He ravenously devoured books in hope that some grander purpose could be found within their pages. Hooper wrote poetry, prose, and songs that he would earnestly play on his acoustic guitar. This was an attempt to exorcise his inner demons. He often clambered to the mountaintops just to get a glimpse of the impossible. He was a man in constant motion. In his 40 short years, Hooper had seen and lived in more places than most folks would ever see in the space of three lifetimes.
During his stint in the Rockies, Hooper had spent his spring and summer months riding his 1978 Honda to one of a hundred mountain trailheads. He would then run the ragged single-track trails for hours. There was an inner peace in those surroundings that could clear his thoughts and temporarily calm his focus. Throughout the harsher winter months when the trails were covered with snow, he had spent his time sliding down the side of a mountain. He bitterly hated the cold but the rush of adrenaline from those black diamond slopes would always whip his focus back into shape.
Hooper should have been the happiest man alive. His trouble however, was that he just couldn’t settle into this easily captured state of bliss. Deep within his soul was a perpetual fear of stagnation. Triumph for Hooper was always alluded to but never quite attained. His perception was that he had never succeeded in any of his endeavors. Perhaps the problem was more that his definition of success had just never been articulated. He could envision his ends but the means he could never grasp. His span of attention was just too short.
The act of running generally does not require definition. It is simply the rapid forward movement of muscle, tissue, bones and blood. It is not this movement that requires definition; it is rather the intent behind the movement that seeks clarification. In search of this elusive answer Hooper often asks of himself: are you running toward something or are you running away?