In the opening scenes of Batman Begins (2005), a determined Bruce Wayne has finished scaling the side of a mountain with a rare flower to present to Henri Ducard (aka Ra’s al Ghul). After banging on the castle door and subsequently entering the main hall, Bruce’s wavering ability to stand is evident. He is exhausted, a man ready to collapse onto the floor in a heap. Ducard proceeds to ask Bruce if he’s ready to begin his training for membership in the mysterious League of Shadows. Gasping for breath, Bruce tells Henry that he can barely stand. Ducard’s reply and corresponding kick to Bruce’s body is both swift and fierce. “Death does not wait for you to be ready!”
I can close my eyes and recall the sound with great clarity. It is mighty, fierce, heroic. This sound resonates from the soul with power – more power actually. He grunts with a bellowing vigor and I laugh. I love his masculine heart. He is Tim Taylor, the host of “Tool Time” and the star of Home Improvement (1991-1999). As a young boy awkwardly lurching towards adolescence, I was drawn to the tool man and his tendency to take his tools and tweak stuff with a single thought in mind. “More power!”
Every month I visit the CNN website for a glimpse into what movies and television shows are going to be added to Netflix and Amazon Prime. In years past I typically gravitated towards film, but I’m finding that television shows – those off the air and still current – are equally compelling. Strong production value and the “To Be Continued” language at the end of a show have contributed to this, though I’m inclined to think that the ability to watch multiple shows without pause is why. This phenomenon is aptly called binge watching, and its popular. According to an article from Cinema Blend, author Kelly West cites a Netflix survey that defines binge watching as “watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting.” 73% of the respondents agreed with this statement.
Though I’ve run for roughly ten years now, I discovered a major truth shortly after starting: distance cannot corral our aspirations. In the words of Arnold Hano, “There is an itch in runners.” What exactly is this itch though? Perhaps it’s the itch to simply keep going, to keep exploring, to keep uncovering that which was previously hidden on an oft repeated route. Continuing to move is how I might summarize this itch. Runners have a tendency to eyeball the next distance and then charge after it with full force and a grand resolve. In short, that next distance will be conquered.