Everest-007 April 2006

Howdy to All,

I dragged myself out of bed this morning and into the blustery morn. The wind stole all of the leftover bed warmth from my body and the horizontally moving mist soaked me quicker than sun disappears from the Newfoundland sky this time of year. I briefly considered turning back for more clothes but pressed onto the grey shores of Quidi Vidi Lake. The lake overflowed it banks several times in the last week and I had to jump over and around puddles and piles of flotsam that littered the shore. As usual, the warm-up phase made me wish I was courting my inner couch potato instead of my inner mountaineer, but as the gravel crunched beneath my feet, I surrendered to my surroundings and embraced the rain that lashed my face.

Here’s the view from the web cam of my mind on my run this morning…
“Breathe. Crunch. Breathe. Crunch. Ouch. Sting. Hey Duck. Lovely mist. Breathe. Crunch. Breathe. Burr. Damn mist. Ouch. Sting. Getting warmer. Jump over puddle. Miss. Soak foot. Explicative. Breathe. Crunch. Everest. Hmmm. Hey Crow. Breathe. Crunch. Jump. Hey Pigeon. Move Pigeon. Jump over pigeon. Land in puddle. Explicative. Dumb bird. Dumb person. Who runs in this kind of weather? Breathe. Crunch. Breathe harder. Crunch. Check watch. Watch waves. Getting really warm. Pick up the pace. Loving life. Loving training. Busting through my own skin. No one else is out here. Hmmm. Everest. Big mountain. Yup. Really big. Breathe. Crunch.”

I was truly grateful to be able to run this morning as I’d pulled my psoas muscle during training on Friday while doing power cleans…couldn’t even finish the work-out because it tightened up so quickly. I hit it with both topical and oral arnica and today it felt great. I’ve also been nursing a sore throat all week…I’m praying to everyone (insert your own list of all major religious icons and a few minor ones as well) that it doesn’t turn into laryngitis for Thursday.

Speaking of Thursday-please let me know if you’d like to purchase a ticket-we’re trying to get a good number sold ahead of time…(and we have to figure out refreshments). Some of the folks who live away or have other commitments that night have purchased tickets and I’ve arranged for a Girl Guide troupe to use those tickets-so their contribution is giving twice. Please let me know if you’d like to buy a ticket for the Girl Guides if you can’t attend.

I visited Radio Noon again this week. Here is the URL if you’d like to listen to the interview-it is at the 30 minute 18 second mark:

http://www.cbc.ca/radionoonnl/interview_archives/2006_apr_w3.html

I was also on the campus radio station and gave an interview to The Telegram. The media is being very cooperative in helping me publicize the event. I also accepted an invitation from The Express, our weekly paper, to be the “Adventure Columnist” so I’ll be writing for them biweekly. My first paid gig as a writer…guess I can call myself a pro now. I won’t get rich on my column but it might just get me a new ice axe and pair of crampons over time. I’ll let you know when my first column appears.

I read this morning that ferry service had been returned to the Central Coast of British Columbia last week. On the first voyage north, they stopped the ferry above the wreck of the Queen of the North for a brief ceremony where they dropped 99 white roses overboard for the passengers and crew who survived and 2 red roses for the two passengers who did not. Salty tears dropped into my Zacch’s potatoes as I choked my way through the article. It’s hard to give words to how deeply that ferry sinking affected me and the other members of the kayak expedition but it did. It’s probably notes of the song of gratitude and appreciation that plays when I/we glimpse our mortality and impermanence.

I am dedicating my climb of Cho Oyu to healing on many levels. This dedication struck deep into my core this week, when two dear friends were diagnosed with cancer and are about to embark on healing journeys of their own. A recent television report put the odds of getting cancer at 1 in 2 during one’s lifetime…scary stuff…and even more impetus to motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles, sound eating, physical activity, and environmental activism.

Please continue to send Ring of Fire ideas. You’ve been going easy on me of late-though I must say that learning to promote myself-is a huge Ring of Fire-I’ve stood in hockey locker rooms all week holding tickets to sell and trying to do everything in my power to will myself to speak the words “I’ve got tickets here to my event in the case that any of you would like to purchase one.” The chasm between the thought and the ability to speak the words was deeper than any crevasse I saw on Denali. Shyness won on Monday night. Tuesday I tried again, with shyness threatening to engulf me in flames once more, I got strategic and enlisted the assistance of a friend to make the announcement…Wednesday I didn’t even try and Sunday I forgot to bring tickets…yup-I’d definitely prefer to run for two hours, wear bulky mitts, use only dimes, and stand on my head for a day-that have to promote myself…so keep those “fun” Ring of Fire challenges coming my way…

I hope all is well with you…take good care. Thanks for coming along on the journey-can’t imagine making it without you.

TA

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