The Art of Suffering

2C4A0924_1Most recently I spent an extended period of time on Mt. Rainier. When you are walking along guided by the bubble of light from your headlamp and the moons reflection off the snow slope, there is a lot of time for contemplation. You adapt and embrace to the meditative state of extreme uphill walking. Bundled in your down jacket, counting footsteps, monitoring your breath, strategic hydration, working your way towards the top, you walk up.
IMG_0841Mountain Speed: /ˈmaʊn tn/ /spid/, noun; the rate at which the body must continue in motion for the duration of any journey. There is no definitive rate of motion, as each traveler has a personal gauge though, it is imperative to travel with a partner who can maintain a similar pace.
What a beautiful place, you look out above the clouds as the sun bounces blue, reds, yellow, and purple across the skyline. You are on top of the world, it seems, well not for another 3,5, hundreds of hours.

(the inner monologue)

When I finish I can take these boots off.
When I finish I am going to eat a burger
With fries
A lamb burger
With avocado
Oh, and mango
Looks like we are going to turn a corner ahead
Or sushi, I could take some sushi to the face
Pizza anyone

 We must be close
And an izze (or alcoholic beverage of choice)
Nope not even close
I left an apple in the car
I am really excited about that apple
Guess I’ll eat another energy chew
I have a gel, but I don’t like that flavor
Close…not close
Well perhaps that flavor isn’t so bad

The sun rises.

IMG_0882

The top, a feat of accomplishment fills your body with excitement until it hits you that this is not the end, success is not defined by the summit, but by the safe return.

You live for the moment where exhaustion, hunger, pain, become instantly absent from reality, you are the master of your universe.

Ice cream!

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