Friday, May 23, 2014

Upbeat on Everest 2014 Failure

People have been surprised at how upbeat I am despite the very dissapointing Everest 2014 season events. I won't lie, it's depressing. I've gone through almost a half gallon of ice cream in the last week. Yet, overall, I've had worse. This too shall pass. Here are a few reasons for me to feel upbeat about a "huge failure".

  • I'm alive! If the avalanche had happened April 19th, it could be me still missing in the ice fall. It's one thing to say that, it another to really know that it could have happened to me. Compared to dying, most other outcomes are rather positive. I have the luxury of time to consider my next steps.
  • This barely compares to my unemployment in 2010. I took a huge financial hit without the reward of a climb, but compared to applying for hundreds of jobs and getting hudreds of rejections, and having no money or known future income, I will financially recover. Plus, I never let this affect my direct retirement savings.
  • They offered me a great deal to return. I'm still not sure if I will, or if I might try a different route, but they did give me a huge discount. Plus, the mountain isn't going anywhere. 
  • I tried. I did everything to show up at the mountain skilled, fit and healthy and it worked. I was there and ready to go. I think all the preperation, saving money, learning mountaineering skills, staying healthy at 17,000 feet, and being fit enough to try it are probably 80-90% of the challenge. Mentally, I've already climbed the route. 
  • Mera Peak, the Gorak Shep Mile, the Kalla Pattar speed record, the Ampulapcha Pass, the hike to Phaplu, and all of the unique people I met made this experience unique and worth more than an Everes base camp trek. Each one of those is a little consolation prize. 
Yes, it's still a dissapointment. Yes, I'm still quite upset about the whole thing. However, the ability to feel that dissapointment is a luxury. I will be okay. Mentally and emotionally unemployment was way more difficult than this experience. Physically, most races I run are more difficult. 

Many of the best, or most of the entire population of, ultra marathoners are older people who have been through life's ups and downs and are prepared for the swings that 24 hour races will throw at them. I understand that. I've had lower lows, and I didn't get 10% of the media attention then I am now. Life will go on. I've already got a couple interested things planned for this summer... 

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