by Carrie Adams
“Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.” – Albert Schweitzer
I met Nate Brown, 31, at the Winter Death Race this past March. He was holding a rope over his head and I was holding the stop watch that would tick off the brutal 60 minutes he and the other racers would have to keep the rope suspended in the air as part of their first task. Brown and his Albert Einstein School of Medicine classmate Daniel were up from the Bronx for the weekend race. Over the next 28 hours and 5 minutes, Nate’s finishing time, I would see him several times, his demeanor consistently relaxed, unflustered, and calm. He was seemingly unfazed by the physical tasks, sleep deprivation, and mental stress the race is designed to evoke.