What is the point? Specifically for me, what is the point of my life? And even more specifically, if I am not training and saving to return to Everest, what is the point? When I expressed that idea Saturday night, I realized I was already lost.
Suffering is a good thing, and I’ve been suffering a little the last couple weeks. More so in my head than in reality, I mean my life is pretty great, but some of the the things on my mind have been troubling. “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
Let me rewind a little. Running hasn’t been going so well since I crushed a 27 mile run in three hours flat two weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, I just wasn’t quite ready to be doing the workouts I was at the paces I was, so I went over the limit and now am recovering. This caused anger to build inside me. In large part because I had planned to do two 50 mile races this fall. I’m registered for one, Saturday, the other I’m doubting I will do. It’s frustrating because I spend $200 to register for one of these races and when once again the build up does not go so well I hesitate to even step to the starting line. I’ve registered for CIM in Sacramento three times but only ran it once. It is an expensive hobby to register for a race I do not run. It’s a painful hobby to try and run a race I am not prepared for. All of that being said, I’ve had the Zatopek syndrome for a taper happen several times with good results, and I think… that is quite likely what is happening this time around too.
On a drastically different topic, I have a relative that has cancer. It's stage three. What do you say? What can I do? I guess that's part of growing older?
Changing subjects totally, I am legally, and Facebook officially, single. There is a woman I am interested in that returns my affection, and it is great! However, in my mind, which is somewhat apart from reality, I think, ‘I need to grab her and lock her down, because I might not get another chance!’ The very next thought is, ‘Are you kidding? I am not sure I am ready to leave my independent bachelor lifestyle yet. Plus, while we are similar in some great ways, we are pretty far apart in some other important ways.’ The reason I am admitting to any of this is because I hope it might help other people understand their own feelings. The point being, because of my lack of relationship experience and my increasing age I feel the need to rush things, which is stupid and could easily lead to making bad decisions, and still I feel that way.
Again a totally different subject, Saturday afternoon I went rock climbing with a good friend. We had pizza afterward in Galena and he asked, “So, are you going to Everest next year?”
I replied with, “I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I’m leaning towards going back next year.” After some other discussion I said, “If I don’t go back, what’s the point?” I was referring to saving money and my general frugal lifestyle, and in part the career choices I have made. As soon as I said it, I realized I was lost.
Sunday morning, today, I went to church and the sermon was based on Mark 10:23-31 and Ecclesiastes 5:10-20, specifically Mark 10:28, “Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”” The sermon was about how we never seem to have enough, we always want more, more, more and how we see ourselves as such good people, but we are not good people, and we can never do enough good works to earn eternal life, even if you sell everything you have and give it to the poor. Our gifts, like eternal life, are from God, and as it says in verse 27, “…all things are possible with God.” And as that relates to the Ecclesiastes passage, it is good for us to be content with our lives, and be happy in our work, because ultimately none of us can solve poverty on our own and on the opposite side of generosity having more will not placate desire.
In other words, I want more. I want to climb Mt. Everest without bottled oxygen, I want to run fast races, and I want to spend my life with an amazing woman, but in all these things I seem to want them to go my way, on my terms, because I know best. HA! I love it when I get to this point in an article and I feel like some stupid part of me has been ripped out and exposed so that a better part of me might grow stronger. I don’t know what’s best for me. However, this micro distress of questioning myself the last two weeks has brought about some good results already. First to draw me closer to God, and I’m sure people are uncomfortable reading this, and it’s uncomfortable to write it, but it is easy compared to the negativity that overran my brain this past week at various time. Second, strait from Ecclesiastes, one of my favorite books of the Bible, “Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - that is a gift of God.” As that relates to me in these recent circumstances, I’m running a 50 mile race Saturday. I don’t know how it will go. There is an outside chance I could win. There is a chance I DNF. Regardless of the outcome, I am able to attempt something that so few people have the ability to do, and I will have a support crew of friends and family along the way. How blessed am I! Regarding relationships, I am happy to spend time with a nice young woman, regardless of where our relationship might go. Plus, the other side of the coin is, what sort of crazy woman is even willing to spend time with me? "Oh hey honey, I love you and I'm going to vacation on a mountain for two months where I stand a 2% chance of dying." I mean seriously, where is my head at? For Everest, well, maybe I will never go back. Maybe I will return in 2016. In either case, I have the skills, and I enjoy being in the mountains, my time in those high places is a blessing the vast majority of people on earth do not know, and I don’t take that for granted.
I don't know what the future holds. It makes me uncomfortable. But! I do know that everything that happens, no matter how painful is ultimately for my benefit. That, is comforting.