Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Next Step

I lost sight of the next step last week. I started thinking about summit pushes and rotations, and marching up the highest mountain in the world. That’s not at all how these things are climbed. It’s one step at a time. 

A couple years ago I read an article about a female Olympic skier who was a bit obsessed with the perfect ski turns. She wasn’t so much interested in being the best in the world, which she was contending for, she wanted to ski the perfect race. This is part of the reason that Steve Prefontaine has captured the minds of so many young runners, he didn’t exactly run to win, he ran to see who had the most guts. 

Depending on the outcome of this Everest season I may write a book about my journey from a slow kid in the flat lands of America to the top of the world. It’s an interesting story, and one that took place very slowly, one step, one skill at a time. As the saying goes, ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ And you can’t lose sight of that at any moment. The minute you start worrying about the big picture you quit actually doing the work to arrive at the end destination. I should clarify that.

The president of the United States has a busy calendar. I can’t imagine how many decisions he has to make on a daily basis that have serious consequences for the rest of the nation and even world. You could say that he has the ultimate big picture job. Certainly there is collateral damage economically and socially, and in humans lives, in the decisions that he makes. These decisions aren’t in a vacuum, and they often reference other decisions. Yet, each decision has to be made, one at a time, within the context that is known for that specific situation. 

A mountain is climbed one step at a time. A child is raised one moment at a time. A job is worked one task at a time. I lost sight of that, of the process, and I got sick. 
Me Descending Halfway Between Camp 1 and Camp 2 with Everest Over My Shoulder

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