Friday, February 16, 2024

Ready Or Not?

Exactly one and a half months from today I will decide whether I will return to the Alps this summer for one last crack at a 4,000-meter peak. Today I continued to train hard toward that end. 

As I look ahead to the summer, there's a part of me that wants to call it quits. After all, when I last climbed the Alps I was 65. This time I will be 72. At the same time, there's another part of me that is anxious to get going, a side of me that says it's time to take care of unfinished business. The perfectionist in me says it's a dangerous game, that it could easily turn out disastrously. I remember when I was running trail races. There was always a rock or a root or something that gave me reason to pause. If I had bowed out every time I felt intimidated I would have missed a lot of races and missed a lot of enjoyment. Some of my best marathons have been the ones where I was sure I couldn't finish but did anyway. 

At the end of next month my mountain guide and I will decide. I told him, if I don't have a better than 50-50 chance of summiting, I don't want to try. Looking ahead, I am excited about what awaits me. I don't know what that will look like yet. But this I do know: sometimes our hesitations are valid and need to be heeded. At other times they are a stumbling block. If you really want to succeed at something, you have to be willing to fail. When I first climbed a 4,000-meter peak, the challenge was so intimidating that it seemed impossible. That is, until I summited. Seven years later, I must admit that I am at peace with whatever the outcome might be. What deems me successful is not what I do but how I pursue it. 

Just wanted to share a bit behind the scenes. Hope you're all well! 

P.S. If I do climb again, I'm going to make it another fundraiser for UNC Cancer Hospital where Becky was treated. 

Thanks to many of you, $25,000 was raised.