My own life would have been so much emptier if I had missed out on any of those life experiences. Running has been a friend I could always count on.
I am a relatively new runner, with only about a year and one half of running under my belt. But I "get" what you are saying here. When I was much younger, I used to spend time reviewing statistics of professional basketball and baseball players. Now, I spend time reviewing my own running performance either on training runs or in 5k, 8k or 10k road races. Running has provided a new dimension to my life.
To me the obit in the original post in this thread does not seem tragic. I think about how much more tragic it would have been if he had died without having completed the marathons in the Bahamas and Arizona.
I understand this comment as well. I remember a comic strip in which a guy was jogging saying, "I am doing my best to extend my life for as long as possible." The next sentence contained the line, ".... hoping someday I will find out what my life is for."
As Dr. Dean Ornish wrote in his book "Program for Reversing Heart Disease," what's the point of living longer if you aren't enjoying life? Ornish wrote this in the context of discussing his feelings of depression while he was in his early 20s.
But, yes. Adopting the McDougall diet will help us live longer, with fewer aches and pains. With that we can enjoy our lives. For me, that means enjoying the challenge of trying to shave another few seconds off of the time it takes to complete my next road race.