Antarctica Countdown 56 Days and Counting: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

I love this shot that Natelle took this morning! The blurring of the pavement as I drag the tire ever upward. It was one of those morning where, when the alarm first went off and the house was shaking in the wind, that I contemplated rolling over and going back to sleep. Fortunately, I’d made a date to meet Natelle at the top of Signal Hill. Fortunately, neither of us had checked the weather forecast the day before as we might not have consented to going out into the 80 kph gusts and driving rain.

Turns out it wasn’t that bad out. It usually seems worse when you are still in a warm bed. Much worse. So much worse that we have a rule in sea kayaking that we never do a “weather check” from within a sleeping bag (as the weather would often be “too bad” to paddle from such a horizontal evaluation position). So I’m grateful to Natelle that she, too, crawled out of warm, dry, comfy repose to meet me to do the absurd act of pulling a tire up Signal Hill more than once. For the absurd is best done with company. It’s much more fun that way, and if by chance, it’s not fun…misery loves company.

At this point on the hill, I got philosophical. I had had a train of thought that went something like this…”This is a tough thing to be doing this morning…maybe the toughest of anyone near here.” That thought was quickly followed by, “Yes, this is a tough thing but it is by no means the toughest. Some people are rising to a day filled with grief and having to say good bye to a loved one, some are facing a day of chemotherapy, some will be cold and wet all day for lack of adequate housing. This is tough yes but many many many have it tougher. And some have it easier right now.” I wished I’d been pulling my tire up the middle of the road, because in that moment, I was truly in touch with the Buddhist teaching of the Middle Way. Not too tight, not too loose. I’m not special or separate in a good way. I’m not special or separate in a bad way. I just am. And so is everyone else. There will always be those who are swifter, braver, faster and those who are facing more hurdles and more suffering than I am and my job as a human is to stay open to all people and all experiences.

The everyday practice is simply to develop complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without reservations or blockages so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself. –Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

This entry was posted in Buddhism, Everest 3.0, Vinson and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Antarctica Countdown 56 Days and Counting: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

  1. Shelagh Egar says:

    I love reading about your philosophical thoughts that come to mind as you train. Hope you can take some time from training to enjoy Thanksgiving this week-end. Cheers.

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