3 4 E
In 2018, my younger brother, Eric Brosterhous, lost his battle with brain cancer. It’s possible (for sure), I haven’t done a good job of coping. A big chunk of my daily experience is missing. The part where we would sarcastically & collectively process the world in short 5 minute phone calls is just gone. I haven’t really seen the world the same way since, obviously, and the way I do see is quite different than the way I did before he died.
Without question the one thing that I have come to realize is that life is deeply paradoxical. We are all seeking, I think, a sense of comfort & security on a deeper level. However, life in and of itself, is incredibly uncomfortable & uncertain. We search for things to surround ourselves with, in the hope they will bring us comfort. Houses, cars, money, things, titles, social status, acceptance, etc., However, paradoxically, when we consciously seek, and existentially choose the experience of being uncomfortable, or of stepping into the unknown, the more comfortable we get.
There are many tools for exploration into the unknown. Travel, exploration, learning new things, etc., For me, deep & sustained physical effort in the mountains gets me there, and serves as a healing medium of sorts. Somehow, in those efforts, the demons are easier to sort, and gratitude for what we had with Eric is more clear and tangible. Since he died, I’ve experienced more self-efficacy committing to events/things that I’d always thought about, but never did. Amidst the guilt & chaos in loss, deep physical effort necessary in some of these events seems to offer a space that returns some deeper quality & a sense of honor to his plight.
This year, I’ve been fortunate to find entry into the Leadville 100 & The Grand Traverse. Things I always thought about doing, but never committed to. These events are spread across a few different mountain sports, ski-mountaineering & mtn. biking. In mountain communities, lots of folks do these activities, they are not uncommon. Their respective modalities can be complex to piece together, and take a sustained commitment to a certain kind of values. Usually it is one that doesn’t involve many of the traditional security blankets available at the society comfort store. However, when consciously woven together toward an objective, frame a mindset that offers a unique lens through which to view things.
I have a full-time job, 2 awesome kids, and a rad wife. I have a simple house we like, and 2 mice killing cats. I can see mountains from my back deck, and hear the river at night from down below. I can ski, bike, fish, or run out my back door just about everyday if I really wanted to. I see how easy it would be to settle into a pretty comfortable routine, and to not layer on a whole other aspect (like deep committed suffering) to that existence, which is pretty good. Go for a quick, easy ride, drink a few beers every night on the back deck, be a good dad, good husband, andwork hard. That’s enough, and seems reasonable, right?
Since Eric died, I have this ever present feeling that that choice would be counter to the whole thing. We have this life, and we should lean into it, and all the nasty parts it offers, even if it means skipping that last beer, getting up at 5am and putting on knee warmers, or a headlamp and squeaking out that ride or ski tour that just would be a whole lot easier to pull the comforter up over my head and skip.
3 4 E is simply, and hopefully, a humble way of raising money for Eric’s cause: The Eric J. Brosterhous Cancer Fund. Cancer sucks, and in the 21st century, we should have ways beat it. But we haven’t.
So, here’s my proposition. Consider donating some spare change $$ to the Eric J. Brosterhous Cancer Fund, and I will pledge to race & train the heck out of these events below this summer in his honor. Maybe .25 cents a mile, . 50 cents, or maybe even $1/mile. I will provide some updates & share some thoughts along the way, and maybe we can do something good, in Eric’s spirit. As a bonus, my other younger brother Craig & I will race the Leadville 100 together, in Eric’s honor.
To Pledge a per mile donation–simply click here and enter your donation directly to Eric’s fund.
3 4 E
March-28-Grand Traverse Ski-mo race-40 mi.
July 11th, Leadville 50 Mtb.- 50 mi.
August 14th-Leadville 100 Mtb. 100mi.
Sept. 6th Grand Traverse Mtb.-40 mi.
3 Events & 230 Total Miles