Dr. W, an orthopedic surgeon, leaned towards me and launched into a lecture.
“We can’t determine what you need without an x-ray,” he barked, cutting me off in mid-sentence.
On July 8th, I made the decision to climb Mt. Kenya, the second largest mountain in Africa, at 17,053 feet high. Five years ago, I had made a similar commitment to do Kilimanjaro, and that decision changed my life forever.
Some four thousand years ago in Babylonia, the people celebrated the planting of new crops and the beginning of the new year. At the end of the elaborate, 12-day, religious festival Akitu, the people of Mesopotamia would support the existing king or crown a replacement.
Jill was in the kitchen, right in the middle of making cookies. I’d been at their house for about a week, which is typical around Christmas, when I spend my annual two weeks at their home in Eastern Washington.
Early this morning, I got up to do my exercises and mediation before heading to the airport for my annual Christmas visit at my best friend’s family’s house in Spokane, WA. Before I put the last bits and pieces in my luggage for the long drive to the airport, I checked my inbox.
“You can’t make it to the top. You’re from Florida, so you’re going to get altitude sickness.”
My friend Ginger, a fellow Floridian in her 50s, had just told this other friend of hers that she had set her sights on climbing Kilimanjaro in July of 2019.
Many of us are content in our everyday lives. We go for walks in the park, help with the grandkids, or sip on tea or coffee in the local coffee shop. And that’s great. We all need those peaceful moments.
Early this morning, I woke up in Washington DC, where I’m going to be delivering a speech in the late afternoon. I’m sitting at my desk in the sweet early hours, my workout gear on, ready to head out to the first floor where I know the gym is located.
Some months ago, I wrote an article about aging well which garnered some intriguing responses. One woman wrote, not without some wry humor, that she had gotten encouragement because she “simply HATED being 67.”
I thought, but didn’t write back, “Well, consider the options.”