To bring this particular blog to an end, I thought I would try to answer the question I received most often – why? I’d really like to borrow George Mallory’s “because it is there”, but I will have an attempt at something more original below:
– “the Power of Now”. My Sister-in-law gave me this book to read while I was away. It was certainly an antidote for high altitude-induced insomnia (sorry Kirst) but I did manage to get through a few pages. For those familiar with the book it seeks to provide remedies for the problems of an overactive and cluttered mind that inflict many people. I confess that my mind often struggles to cope with too many inputs and undue concerns. While a more spiritual/holistic approach may work for some, I find that an annual adventure or two provides a good mental house clean. It is very difficult to focus on anything else when all your energy is focused on surviving the next piece of single track, rock face or check point.
– Back to Basics. Most events (and certainly Everest) involve a pretty substantial reduction in living standards for a while and a focus on the most basic of things – eating (normally very basic but whatever you can get in), drinking water (to the point of over flowing if possible) sleeping (normally under canvass on something hard) and, well, let’s call it bodily functions (think hole in the ground if lucky or behind a rock if not). It certainly makes you appreciate the finer things in life (including our wonderful and supportive families) on your return and how lucky we all are to have access to and enjoy these things.
– People. – I have met some truly exceptional and interesting people on the various expeditions I have undertaken and Everest is no different. While typically like minded, I often would not come across these people in my traditional “walk of life” and I feel lucky to have met and become friends with many of the people I have met during these experiences.
– Can I? – I think it is important to push and test our limits – physically and mentally. I have now completed several things that at one point in time I would not have thought I was capable of.
So, there you have it. I hope that makes some sense. Finally, the good thing about going on one event is that you typically hear about or plan another one before you get home. While I’m currently banned from talking about a new adventure, it is fair to say that we have something pretty epic in the pipeline for 2013!
Watch this space….