It's been quiet around, and as I said in email to Craig, "I think there are many reasons. First of all, I think blogworld is dying a slow death in general. Is it a Facebook, Twitter, "big dogs" blogging now and are more interesting for general readers, or is it just time, I don't know. Likely, a combination of all the things. A dialog died off, and writing is not that exciting for no comments. And yes, it's off-season. I also don't have those beautiful views of the Gorge anymore from my long runs. And no, I am not complaining."
That's right, no complains. In fact, while running, working and doing other regular life-related things, I am reading a great book, From Everest to Enlightenment. This book was given to Larry as a gift by an author, Alan Hobson, after Larry sent him and his wife off to an adventurous hiking trip in New Mexico where they haven't been before. I've read a few books about Everest. In fact, "Into thing air" was THE book that spurred me into running. Not quite. The book awoke a sense of adventure in me that was asleep after having 2 kids and being submerged into work that wasn't exciting yet produced security. The book made me want to climb Everest one day - and I went on to climb Mt. Washington in NH, the "windiest peak in US", that very winter, in February, in 30F below zero with winds above 50 mph and gusts up to 80 mph, and windchill at 50F below. It was knocking us off the feet, back then, and sadly, I don't remember the year. Was it 2001? Must have been. I wasn't running yet, then, in February. But I was as butt-headed as I am today. Crawling on my hands and knees and leaving Oleg in fear for life. How unprepared we were! All the power-bars got frozen, so did the water. The only thing staying intact was konjak - what Russian is without a drink? That's all we had...We never reached the summit that first time, turning back less than a quarter mile away from the top, blown by wind and full of humility...3 months later I went to run my first 5k, out of nowhere, on a dare from a friend, and later yet Oleg had become a mountaineer with his own aspirations.
I am not sure I want to climb Everest anymore. It doesn't stand in front of me as a goal that would fulfill my life. Many other things did - and are - and will. And this book might be not the best (what do I know?), not to mention I am only about 20% into it and haven't even touched the climb itself. What I do see is a very smart person taking lessons with every step in life - and interweaving great quotes (I am a sucker for quotes) in such way that I can't put the book down. I couldn't even step down from a Stairmaster tonight, trying to read more.
The quotes...so well put so often and so timely...are the ones I hold dear to my heart. The ones I want to live by, believe in, and yet, being a human, often fall short of. "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently" (Henry Ford). So, I get up, dust off and try again. Forgiveness can be difficult to achieve - especially self-forgiveness. "Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory" (Mohandas Gandhi) Lots to learn from the People. We are all students in life. One thing that I had a clear thought of - if this book was given to Larry by Alan, I must have married the right man. The right man for me. Because if he sees world the way I see it - together no mountains will give us fear. Who would have thought this quiet man has passions I dream about? How could I know that the glycogen-deprived tired brain on my personal journey (and where but New Mexico?) of a Jemez 50M race would allow me to meet a person I'd love to share more journeys in life that I might be able to afford to live through, while he softly hardly spoke? And where else but on the mountain trails, stripped down to the bare soul, can you find such thing as a soul mate? I am giving thanks - these holiday season - to Mother Nature. the one that never falters to call for truth, for what's inside you. For giving me passion. For allowing me to share it with many. And for making sure I meet someone on the way to hold hands with.
"When the pursuit of natural harmony is a shared journey, great heights can be attained" (Lynn Hill)