46 Earthdays, 55 Birthdays

Where am I going and where have I been? The Big Island, 2013
Where am I going and where have I been? The Big Island, 2013

The last thing I expected in May of 2014 when I hesitantly pressed the “publish” button (see   https://fromswamptosummit.com/2014/05/12/how-it-began/ ) was that two years later I’d still be writing this blog. What started simply as a means to keep family and friends informed about our upcoming trip to Russia to climb Mt. Elbrus ended up being a weekly place to muse about past adventures, think about new ones, and contemplate the here and now in between them.

And as my 55th birthday comes and goes – serendipitously I was born on what 9 years later became Earth Day – it gives me a moment of pause to reflect about the last five years and consider the next. As a friend of mine put it, somehow the “five” birthdays that split the decades seem even more significant than the “zero” ones.

You see, this entire mountain climbing, summit seeking, trekking business all started when husband J asked me what I wanted for my 50th birthday. And surprising myself, “climb Kilimanjaro” was what popped out of my mouth. Hey, it could have been a lot worse.  At least I didn’t say “Redrum.” And over these last five years, we’ve climbed a heckuva lot of mountains and trekked a boatload of trails. And this was for someone who had last slept in a tent at age 18 and hadn’t run over a mile since her first early 20s. Yes, I did yoga and dance and all versions of 1980s aerobic classes (remember those?!) but it was hardly the same.

Dead Woman's Pass Inca Trail with the Family, 2012
Dead Woman’s Pass, Inca Trail with the Family, 2012

So we’ve got this summer worked out – not really a summit, but the Speyside Way in the Scottish Highlands with the Daughters and the Boyfriends.  But that alone isn’t quite enough to provide the inspiration that I increasingly need to drag myself through the dreary grind of daily work.  What I really need is to figure out the next mountain. After five years of doing this, J and I have realized that some of our ascents have been due to the combined luck of excellent guides and decent weather and not and because of any great skill on our part.  So perhaps a mountaineering school is in order – to add some real training to what we’ve learned on the run.

There’s one in Mont Blanc that I’ve got my eye on. After all, in another five years I’m hoping I’ll be getting ready for the summits of the next five. I was born on Earth Day. How can I not be an optimist?

Advertisements

One thought on “46 Earthdays, 55 Birthdays

  1. Roz May 5, 2016 / 9:01 am

    Love your musings and your blog. Hope you will continue with it, and take us on your adventures. Mont Blanc sounds like fun. Hope you had a great birthday!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s