Sunday, December 20, 2009

Follow Your Dreams. Always

Still recovering from my trip to Ecuador. There will be plenty of time to talk about the raw beauty of the Ecuadorian countryside and the wonderful indigineous culture I encountered. Truth is, mountain climbing is still on my mind.

While I was able to climb the northern side of the Illinizas volcano I stopped short of summiting Cotopaxi (5,900m/19,347 feet) by about 350 meters. At that point, I made the decision that I just couldn't go on. And it wasn't because of the altitude. From the start of my ascent I had been battling the worst stomach bug I've had in years (thanks to a couple of yummie street donuts I ate on the way to the volcano) plus I had developed severe congestion in my sinuses. Every breath up Cotopaxi was laborious. Every step a reminder that my stomach wanted to explode.

At about (5,550m/18,200 feet) I had a flashback to a time of similar distress somewhere in the Oregon desert. Back then, a bit vanity and bravado mixed with just plain stupidity put me in a pretty dangerous situation. Not this time. At that point I turned to my guide and said, “no mas/no more.” It was a good decision.

I may not have made the summit. But at least I tried. I fucking tried. And that is more than some people are willing/able to do.

I've said it before. I'll saw it again. Follow your dreams. Always.

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