A friend recently made a comment that I never seem to grow up. I am not sure if that was a compliment, criticism, or maybe some jealousy. Though, he may have a valid point. Afterwards, I thought about his comment, and I guess I do seem to live a life on the edge or at least do things that most people never would even think about doing.
This year was no exception.
20 years ago, I had returned to the US after walking off of Kilimanjaro. My first stop was at the apartment of my future wife. I am sure I looked like hell, I had not shaved or cut my hair in forever (yes I did bath). I don’t know if she knew it then, but she knows now: I like to do things off the beaten trail. The same friend who told me I don’t grow up (this same friend is who introduced me to my wife), asked why I do these things. I put my head down, thought about it, and looked at him and said, “I want to do things people only dream of and don’t actually do“. He said he appreciated my candor; I laughed.
I love climbing, I love going high on a mountain. But with kids and that silly thing called a job, I had stopped climbing. I knew I was getting restless, so after a long period, I decided I need to determine if I still “had it”. I wanted to try some glacier climbing on Mount Rainer as a prep to see if I could do Mount Denali. I looked at the best groups to help me reach my goal and chose RMI Guides.
Unfortunately, the trip did not exactly go accordingly to plan. Two months before I was to leave, I was told that I had two hernias and needed to have surgery. However silly it sounds, that did not deter me. My surgeon convinced me that I could still climb and wait until after I got off the mountain to have the surgery. And that become the plan.