Monday, March 19, 2007

9 Days until Kathmandu!

The training is still on track and going well. After getting over the flu, probably the result of too many long, hard training weeks suppressing my immune system and Molly’s continual exposure to illness in her petri-dish office, I struggled through another week. I was able to squeeze in 60 miles of running, three nice days of hiking with a pack and then some weight training…. yum. I’m pretty much ready to quit training and get on with the real deal.
Perrine BASE Jump
One of the high points last week was the BASE Jumping Introduction Course I taught for Morpheus Technologies up in Twin Falls, Idaho. This was a bit of a stesser as it was my last real chance to break myself up before the trip. Even though I’ve jumped off the Perrine Bridge hundreds of times before with no lasting physical injuries, I had that lingering bit of doubt that since I was trying to be ‘extra safe’ on this trip, I might end up breaking a bone or worse. I had three students, all experienced skydivers, take the three-day course and everyone was able to get plenty of jumps in with no injuries or near misses. Whew!

Over the last week I’ve also done a bit of shopping for a few good books. Since we’re going to have time in Base Camp to recover and acclimate, I did some research and came up with a few books to take. I found the National Geographic list of the 100 Greatest Adventure Books of all Time and since I’ll probably be cold, tired and missing Molly and the dogs, I figured some good books about others people who really suffered would be good. Maurice Herzog’s story of the first ascent of Annapurna, Everest Shankleton’s Antarctic adventure, South, when his ship, the Endurance, sank and Apsley Cherry-Garrard book, The Worst Journey in the World about how he volunteered as a young man to go to the Antarctic with Robert Falcon Scott in 1910 all seem to fall firmly into the suffering category.

Lastly, one of the coolest things that happened recently has been all the positive energy that I’ve received from friends. One of my friends and next door neighbor gave me a really nice vertical prayer flag, a bracelet and some rice that was blessed by the Dali Lama. We’ve hung the prayer flag in the yard so that it is already throwing prayers up to the heavens. Some good friends from Atlanta gave me a necklace from New Zealand that has a charm to protect from accidents and evil spirits. Boy, do I need this!

All of these gifts are going into a small ‘juju’ bag that I’ll carry with me on the trek and up the mountain. This sort of incredible generosity and thoughtfulness is very special and will no doubt provide me with strength on this long journey.



Blogger Rick said...

Good luck in Nepal!b

3/19/2007 7:39 PM

Blogger powstash said...

I like the idea of the small "juju" bag. I've never been one for trinkets, but that makes complete sense.

Indeed, good luck on the big E. Namaste Baxter.

3/21/2007 7:22 PM


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