Monday, March 21, 2011

The demise of Hendrik Coetzee

If you want to experience some excellent long-form magazine journalism, grab an issue of Outside magazine.

The March, 2011 issue carries an excellent read on one of the world's more talented white-water kayakers - Henrik Coetzee.  This South African adventurer was obsessed with exploring remote tributaries in Africa.  He was planning one last run in the Congo before starting a new life with his lover, Juliana Buhring, a German national living in the Kampala.

For Coetzee, depression loomed just outside the realm of danger and the adrenaline rush that follows.  Like an addict searching for the next fix, Coetzee only felt alive when he was in the midst of a risky expedition.

The description of how Coetzee met his fate is riveting; I'll leave that to master competitor readers who wish to explore this story.

In a deeper sense, let's ask ourselves when the risk is greater than the reward...not only for us, but for those who love us, and who we in turn love. It's a question we all need to ponder.

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