A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A book I am reading

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)

16 comments:

  1. My favorite Olga! I love to read your posts, so full of genuine thought, insight and honesty. I am so happy for your journey and the love you have found with Larry. Please continue sharing your journey with all of us!

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  2. Here's some dialog. Don't stop writing! :) Seriously, you're blogs are great and I like reading about your running adventures.

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  3. Olga, I guess you are right about Facebook and other social networking sites. They partially took over online social interaction function that was initially handled by blogs. But blogs will not go away. The average quality of blogging should go up though. Your blog is one of those that are meaningful and inspirational to a lot of people. Please keep it up!

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  4. I think the social networking sites are meant for extroverts who want to trade thoughts every 5 seconds (especially Twitter). Blogs are more internal monologues, thoughtful and in-depth. I prefer blogs, even if posts become less frequent.

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  5. Good Quotes! Call me a sucker, too. I hope you don't stop blogging, I've really enjoyed reading about your ultra experiences. Thanks for that!

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  6. Blogs are dying? Crap, nobody told me - I could be putting a lot less effort in mine.

    I caught the same bug you did after reading Krakauer's book, but there's a line of distinction in my mind between mountaineering, which seems to frequently tempt death, and ultras, which only feel like dying sometimes. I can't ever imagine putting summit dreams above everything else in my life.

    Always great to hear from you, Olga - no matter how often.

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  7. Just wanted to let you know that I really loved this post. Thank you.

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  8. Anonymous2/12/09 18:38

    Facebook, smacebook. The brief, staccato comments are fine as far as they go--which isn't very. Facebook is a symptom of two contradictory aspects of modern society--our inability to concentrate and our need to be connected. True connection and thoughtful reflection occur elsewhere and will never go out of style.

    ~Shelley

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  9. Olga, love your blog. Hope all is well is Tx. Facebook is surface and doesn't replace the quality that blogs put forth. I'm glad you have found such happiness in your new marriage and moving to Texas.

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  10. I need to check out that book. Everest just doesn't interest me for some reason. However, Everest base camp does. I'd love to do the hike to the base camp and just observe the freak show. Is that weird?

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  11. I love quotes too. : ) Yours was the first blog I read and I'll keeping reading to its end (which I hope doesn't happen any time soon!).

    I think facebook has taken over some of the back and forth communication that blogs had when I first started blogging back in 2006. FB has its place but I still love blogging (need to do more of it myself) and reading blogs. Don't stop! : )

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  12. Yeah, Olga. Great point about Facebook. I pretty much avoid it. But blogs like yours, well, they are like a good book, just more honest and less edited. And I am just like Sarah, your blog was the first one I read and gave me the inspiration to start mine. I for one hope it doesn't become a lost art.

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  13. Just to clarify, I am not Facebooking nor Twitting. And I really didn't mean to give an impression I am quitting blog either. I just wrote that it seems blogging had slown down and who knows how long it will keep up - in general. But I like this outlet, for my own thoughts, and to see what my friends are thinking (you're right, thinking, not doing per se). Thanks to everyone who keeps coming back to read mine:)

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  14. Anonymous4/12/09 09:12

    Blogging may have slowed down but I have not stopped looking for your posts in the last couple of years. I don't tend to post comments but I am always inspired.
    Angela

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  15. Still checking in on you on a frequent basis, Olga. Glad that things are going well in Texas. Trying to adjust to being a Grandpa and enjoying the effort. I am also starting to work back toward fitness and running CCC instead of volunteering. Don't stop writing - we need your frankness.

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  16. Hey you quit Facebook right when I first started it. And like Sarah said I think your blog was the first I ever really read much. I know I don't write like I used to. I think I feel like I have to make a big statement every time. But continue your comments, we all enjoy them.

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