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Motorcycle enthusiasts Phil and Marie wanted a weekend getaway. They found a beautiful spot that fronted on a small river in the mountains. They had a cabin built there and rode up as often as they could.
Phil was an engineer by trade, and he’d won medals as a pole vaulter in college. He built a pair of poles with a crosspiece and mulched a run. He dug out his old college pole and his shoes and he was ready to go. He’d run, plant that pole, soar over the crosspiece, and land smack-dab in the river. He loved to spend a hot afternoon this way, but Marie could not be enticed to try it.
One year, spring came early and much warmer than usual. Phil and Marie seized the opportunity and rode their motorcycles to the cabin. The river was high and running fast.
Phil was determined to try a few pole vaults. Marie warned him that it wasn’t safe, but he persisted.
The jump went perfectly, and he hit the water with a resounding splash. But he was swept away and disappeared under the floodwaters. Later that day, the search team found him tangled in a tree that had fallen into the water.
Now, Phil was a civil engineer, but Marie was an electrical engineer. She said, “I warned him that it’s not the vault-age that kills you, it’s the current.”