Financial Advisor Uses Wealth, Equipment To Take Life To The Max

Mike Lapinski, 36 year-old financial advisor, takes risks not just limited to his clients' stock and bond investments -- he also claims to have met challenges and traversed obstacles met by few other men on this Earth, making him, in his own words, "really the ultimate Renaissance Man."

"Life is like a charging bull that's raging like a bull period in the stock market, or like a bull who is angry because he has been beaten and flogged before being pushed out in an arena for people to watch," he said enthusiastically, eating a power bar. "And I'm all about taming that bull in every place I can: both in the office and on top of the most popular mountain that I can take my Jeep up."

The path of adventure has most recently led Lapinski to Aspen, Colorado, where even skis were not enough to satisfy his insatiable appetite for one-upmanship; he could also be seen literally sailing down the slopes on an amalgamated snowboard and parachute, setting himself apart from those in the bourgeois who had opted to rent skis at a more economical $200 an hour and who now marveled at the fantastic amalgamation of fiberglass and Gortex blasting past them and knocking them into the snow -- gratefully so, since they could not very well simultaneously ski and watch the ultimate Renaissance Man.

"I believe in testing one’s limits, and since you only go ‘round once, you should push it to the extreme," philosophized Lapinski. "Like back when I was living in San Francisco when I was working for Trans America, I entered local shark-infested waters on my light-as-air, Kalui Pro 56 [windsurf board]. 'I'm king over you, sharks!' I shouted at them. 'I am the master of my environment!'"

Some, such as the fisherman out on the water during Lapinski's aforementioned windsurfing, get annoyed by his approach to life, but he simply dismisses their irritations as the side effects of "a lack of bull-by-the-hornsness."

"Sink or swim, baby," he said, a carefully controlled wild gleam in his eye. "I'm filled with buoyant hot air, and I can rise above stones like those fisherman."

Imitating his typical procedure for negotiating his $2,000 board between those lower-income, blue-collared stones, Lapinski repeatedly stabbed his finger at the floor and yelled, "I am rising above! I have grabbed life and made it my pet gerbil!"

There are some adventures that even the barmecidal wild man has not yet accomplished, however; surviving in the wilderness, scaling K2, hiking the Appalachian trail or taking a walk in the woods behind his Lake Forest, Illinois, domicile all remain untouched by his manicured hands. But Lapinski says he isn't interested in such situations, which don't allow for the adrenaline rush that can be afforded with only the finest in sporting equipment and flashiest of protective head-gear.

"Everyone’s always like, 'Dude, you gotta hike the [Appalachian] trail, you gotta,'" he complained, "but that’s just for hippies and dudes in a midlife crisis. I’d rather just drive my Hummer off-road down the thing, doing 70 [mph] the whole way."

"My GPS inside the Hummer would even be turned off," he said in just above a whisper, perhaps planning the adventure for his upcoming scheduled three day weekend. "I'd just totally take the thing past the limit and show those hippies what taming life is all about."

Lapinski, whose exploits in the high-adventure extend into the realms of food and drink choices (his beer choices are limited to lagers from Belgium and Uzbekistan) and cell phone dial tone (Europe's "The Final Countdown"), says he has no plans to slow his lifestyle down anytime soon, and will only do so when modern gym equipment fails to give his muscles the sufficient strength for operating the levers and hiking the brief distances required for his exploits.

"I'm going to keep it going as long as I physically can," he said wistfully. "If there's one thing I am afraid of, it's the thought of dying without ever having really lived."

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