As I pulled out my “Into Thin Air” book to read for the third time in the past year after a failed attempt at scouring the internet for movies about the mountain that I hadn’t yet seen, I stopped for a moment and thought, “Why do I have this magnetic attraction to Mount Everest?”
It’s not just a phase – I find myself revisiting Mount Everest books and movies year after year.
I enjoy hiking, but certainly have never climbed a legitimate mountain.
I hate being cold possibly more than anything (thus my move from the snowy mountains of Montana to the scorching deserts of Arizona).
I have absolutely no sense of direction and cannot retrace my steps in unknown territory.
I am known to be quite clumsy and my terrible eyesight certainly doesn’t help with that matter . . .
The list of reasons why I shouldn’t be attracted to the idea of climbing Mount Everest goes on for eons.
So why the immense fascination? It’s not as if I actually think that someday I will climb the behemoth – I’m still working on swimming in water where I cannot see the bottom. I believe my fascination lies in the fact that I know I will never climb it. There would be no sane reason for me to ever do so – I know I would hate every moment of it. As I read through “Into Thin Air” and watch the movies, I cringe at every detail, every description of the journey.
But I can’t seem to get enough. I revel in “experiencing” Everest without having to actually experience it.
I think that with technology and the internet we all live variously through other people. The constant feed of the lives of others shows us what we are missing out on.
I am pulled between both the positive and negative in this.
I like the fact that seeing others’ “exciting” lives serves as motivation to push ourselves further, to work harder to achieve those things we want. But I dislike the fact that it creates the idea of “my life will never be like that” – the idea that these people have something that we want, but can never have.
So where does that put me? Smack in the middle of a virtual paradox.
But, I have a solution.
How you look at the lives of others (on or offline) is entirely up to YOU. You have the choice to see someone achieve something great and as a result, set some fabulous goals for yourself. You have the choice to not instantly hate someone who has something that you don’t – chances are good they worked hard to get there.
The perspective of any situation is entirely up to you – you can see it through your eyes however you please. So why not make the best of it?
In that light, I have chosen to look at the lives of those venturing up Mount Everest as wonderful role models.
They have achieved something I never will, but via them, I do get to experience a bit of Everest.
Their incredible endurance and determination have motivated me to push myself further in other arenas.
Though I’m not quite at the level of conquering mountains, my living vicariously through these Everest voyagers has sparked a fire in me to go beyond what I know I can do, and explore what I never thought I could.