Millions of years ago as man began the transformation from animal to the bi-pedal, upright walking, sophisticated tool maker we are today, many changes took place genetically to make humans the supreme beings we are today.  Over time, we have acquired a need for food, shelter, water, and reproduction.  This desire is a part of our being, genetically entrenched into everything that makes us human.  Without these things, and many more, as part of our genetic code, we would cease to survive and end the human race. 

Some time ago, one of the genetic markers mutated.  This mutated gene was probably part of the DNA that makes us seek shelter or the warmth of clothing.  Once this gene mutated it was passed on from generation to generation without much notice.  Today this mutation manifests its self in millions of adventure seekers throughout the world.  It is know as the “event T-shirt” gene.

The outward symptoms of this mutated gene cause normally mild mannered, level headed, working class people, to do some really crazy off the wall events, just to acquire the “event T-shirt” (or ETS for short).  The events are such that “normal” people would not do these sort of things.  Once the ETS is attained, it is worn as a badge of honor and courage.  It is the most prized position of the wearer and is guarded as if it were the rarest of  gems.  Until the next event comes along.  The mutated gene causes the human carrier to forget the last event as soon as the next bizarre challenge comes along.  In short, this mutation causes seemingly normal people to endure great physical challenges resulting in copious amounts of pain, all for the fleeting moment of glory received by wearing the ETS.  MuddyBuddy, New Belgium’s Urban Assault ride, the TransIowa, 24-hour mountain bike races are just a few examples of the pain and suffering that people will put themselves through just for the ETS.

I suffer from the ETS gene mutation.  I have done some REALLY stupid things, just for the ETS.  My latest lapse in judgment involves a 37 story building, stairs, 1,100 of my closest friends, and the number 3.  Last year nearly 1,100 people entered an event called the “Bop to the Top“.  It is a 37 story stair climb race that raises funds for Riley Children’s Hospital.  The event will have only have a handful of “winners” of the age groups, so the only other reason I can think of for 1,100 people to run up 37 flights of stairs is for the ETS.  This year I will be entering the “Triple Step” division which means that I will be going up the 37 flights of stairs 3 times.  The only explanation I can give for wanting to do this to my body is a mutated ETS gene.

I’m afraid it is too late for my children.  I have already passed on the flawed gene.  My oldest son is now showing signs of the ETS gene too.  Last year he attended an adventure camp.  The DINO adventure camp teaches the children outdoor skills such as mountain biking, hiking, camping, orienteering, climbing, and canoeing.  He was exausted from a week of scout camp, but pushed through the pain and fear….all for the ETS.  Now the ETS from the adventure camp is worn constantly and with great pride.  He would fight a bear before he would give up that shirt.


  When you are not sporting the stylish threads of EVOMO, what is your favorite ETS and what kind of insane punishment did you go through to get it?


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