Recently Aaron emerged from our Axe Like a Bad Axe Workshop as the supreme victor. We visited with him to learn more about him and how he pulled off this incredible feat.
So Aaron, what's one super interesting thing about you, and where's home?
Home is St. Louis Park. I have lived in New Orleans, Chicago, and San Diego as well. But the Twin Cities feels like home to me. I once took second place in a tough man competition, ran a 1/2 marathon, and won an organized debate...within 16 hours of one another.
If cancer caregiving is a journey, where would you say you are on yours?
I feel like Columbus must have felt. Continuing the metaphor, I know the Earth is round (so hey, there HAS to be a way, right?)...but have no idea what I am sailing into. I have what can be deemed "convictions" as to the outcome (we are midway into radiation with good prognosis), but I suffer from what is sometimes termed "Knightian Uncertainty" - I simply do not know what I do not know about how this will all turn out.
How would you describe the Axe Like a Bad Ass Workshop? What other Jack's programs have you participated in?
The Axe like a Bad Ass Workshop was clearly the single most important tournament in the history of the world, and I just happened to be victorious. I won it ALL baby. But seriously, it was the pleasure of learning a ridiculous, absurd, totally irrational activity in our break-neck era of progress and technology, and I think we all loved every second of it.
The moment you realized you had officially smoked every other Axe thrower there, what sort of thoughts ran through your head?
(Insert boilerplate proathletespeak) "Well guys, I just have to thank the other players, they were just great today, and I just was lucky I guess, aw shucks wish we all could have won". Ok, maybe not that...I was just happy that we all could have some unapologetic fun for zero reason. Winning was irrelevant (unless you lost...which you all did.). :-D
Clearly to emerge victorious you must have trained for thousands of hours, in grueling conditions, under the tutelage of an axe throwing master. Can you talk about that process and how challenging it was? Was your Sensei one of Paul Bunyan's descendants? And did he/she ever make you do the axe throwing version of wax on and wax off?
Its funny you ask...I actually trained in Svalbard with some locals. We threw axes at the flying dragons who inhabit the volcanoes. No wait, that didn't actually happen. I think most of my "skill" can be attributed to the relaxing atmosphere and having some time to just let go of reality for a little while. That and the fact that I am physically perfect and the pinnacle of athleticism.
Do you think it's important for guys in your situation to get together and hang out? If so, why?
No human in our position could have exited Bad Axe and thought "what a terrible idea and I shall never do these types of things again". Jack's itself is essential for taking the logistical reigns and facilitating the entire process of unwinding. I alluded to Columbus's journey in a previous question...its good to have shipmates who are in the same boat, facing similar prospects, dealing with similar fears. So second star to the right, gentlemen, and straight on til' morning...
Jack's Caregiver Coalition is a Minnesota-based 501(c)3 organization striving to deliver world-class hospitality to men who are cancer caregivers.
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