May 7, 2006
“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”
–Tagore (a Bengali poet and novelist)
This statement is what I lived by this week-it is one of my favorites and I often turn to it for advice when I am stuck. During the beginning of the week, I propelled myself into an intense healing process that involved many tears, the middle of the week found me pumping iron with a vengeance and sweating up a storm, and during the weekend I paddled 40 kilometers of salt water in my kayak on Placentia bay. Today-I am cured! I’m happy and fatigued in that “It’s been a big week and I’m tired in a lovely satisfying kinda way.” I’m just home from Woody Island, Placentia Bay-the Bay formed by the Isthmus of Avalon and the Bay I will return to in four weeks to make an extended excursion around (just like the song).
Not saying which song quite yet-but we may very well visit Toslow, maybe St. Leonard’s…and we’re going do our best to visit Vera’s home country of Tack’s Beach. If anyone has local information/stories/beta about Western Placentia Bay/Merasheen Island/King’s Island-and you want to share-do drop me a line.
One of my other favorite sayings is that “when I’m in the middle of a bowl of oatmeal, it’s hard to know when I’ve taken a bite.” This came to concrete awareness on Friday when I was in the gym working out. I’d felt tired and unmotivated all week and was carrying a lot of fear that I wasn’t training hard enough. Friday, I dragged myself out of bed to go train before heading out to Woody Island. I started lifting and this funny thing happened…I was stronger than I’d ever been in the gym. I broke two personal records that morning-in the chest press and the squat-this when I thought I was slacking. I also know I can squat more-I wasn’t maxed out even though I broke my record by 10 kilograms. I began to question my world view-maybe I don’t need to train as hard now as I did before, maybe my body is strong enough? Or maybe it’s time to train in other areas? Or maybe it’s time for a rest week? I pondered the equation that exertion always equals results…and also noticed that I’d been swimming in oatmeal for much of the week. Thick. Gooey. Warm. More fun to eat than swim in, even though I like brown sugar. I’m glad the salt water helped me get out the bowl.
Monday, Wally Berg responded to my e-mail turning down his invitation to join his Everest team. Naturally he was disappointed but he didn’t want me to give up so easily. He said that there is likely to be a spot for me on his team through the summer so I’m doing a good job of sitting with uncertainty perched on a sharp ridge…waiting to see if the causes and conditions (a.k.a. fundraising) come together in time to support a September climb or a climb a year from now (or years from now). I feel confident in my ability to discern, to listen, and to go to Everest when the time is right (on all levels)…though I must admit that both my night dreams and day dreams are filled with Everest right now…
Wednesday I participated in a video shoot for the University’s new promotional video. It was fun to work with a professional crew-I was rock climbing on the edge of Signal Hill…and the connection with the Marketing and Communications department of the university will probably prove to be an important one. I’m slowly adjusting to my more visual life frame-people stop me in the street, people asked me lots of questions about Everest, at a recent speaking engagement I was introduced as a local hero…it’s not much usual style-I like leading from the middle of the pack but a good growth curve for me and one on which I feel like I’ve got a good belay…and probably very good practice for Everest.
This week I’m doing a few more speaking engagements and getting back to work on my Denali book. Thanks for all your kind words last week-they were most welcome and helpful. Take good care-and be sure to include some salt water in your week.