The man in the mirror, Jan 2012
A year ago to date I had my chest port removed after chemo. I had taken all my nutrition and hydration though that port for months as well as the poison that cured my cancer, the medicine to keep me alive and the pain killers to stay that way when I wondered if I would.
Mark's 02 comments mean something to me personally. More than the obvious stir of the pot in mountaineering. And thankfully not what they mean to you in all likelihood. I made the journey to attempt an 8000m peak, once. From that experience I decided not to support that economy or life style...over 30 years ago now. I was appalled that simply clean water and soap could have gone a long ways in easing the suffering I saw.
My thought then was. "things will change here once these people get a hand on a AK47".....and rightfully so.
Rarely have I regretted the decision to stay away. But I have regretted it at times.
Last year I rushed to the outdoors, a place of refuge for me, literally hours after being untethered from, literally, life support. I appreciate a lot of things differently now.
A year later, to the day I realise now, I was on what to me could have easily of been a "make a wish" day trip. Almost surreal.
I was back country skiing with two guys that many, myself included, would have been happy to pay for their time just to be a fly on the wall. Dream trip from "Make a Wish" if you are into that sort of thing. I just wanted to go skiing, but the moment and situation didn't escape me. I was just too busy with MY life to really appreciate it.
I had dinner the night before with an old friend who by any measure has nothing to be insecure about. But he shared with me that his entire career was/is based on insecurity. He simply wanted to be liked by and impress his peers. He just never realized that, he had, and no one cared.
Climbing at any level means nothing. It isn't the climb or the difficulty or what you learned while you were there. It is who you are now, today, and what you offer the greater human community, your family or your friends.
It costs you nothing to show that you appreciate your family and friends, offer a word of support to a co-worker or the homeless guy on the street. Or that your buddy's last climb did in fact impress you. I might be jaded and hard to impress but I do find the words come easier and with more meaning if I practice being a more supportive person. "Fake it, till ya make it", may not be a bad motto for us A type personalities.
MITM's partner, Jan 2013