Sometimes, and I hate when it happens, I remember that I am 52 years old. Quite often it happens when I look in the mirror and I am surprised at the old fart looking back at me. Now, compared to most people my age, I am in pretty damn good shape. Shoot, it was only about 5 months ago Rob and I rode across an entire state!
So maybe I am NOT old!! But wait, last month I had to have a colonoscopy, that’s a sure sign that I AM old… (No issues by the way, healthy as a horse!)
So as you can see, there are times I argue with myself on just whether or not I am old. I do have to admit, though, there are some advantages to being in my 6th decade (UGH OLD AGAIN!)…
The advantage is: I have done a LOT in my time.
Now, I won’t go into details of all I have done, I have covered this time and again here at the 25000 mile blog. But when I give myself the chance to think about it, I have done a helluva lot. In fact, I think I might need to go back to the old photo album and document some early adventures from college. But I digress.
Having done, or tried, many different adventures, I find myself able to connect with people I might not be able to otherwise.
Case in point. Last week the Mighty P sent me to Spokane again. (YEP had a date with Spinbitch and YES she tried to kill me! (Damn Digressing again!)) In the work session I was in was another co-worker from this side off the mountains.
This coworker and I have known each other for years. We say “Hi” when see each other, we have worked on projects together, and we have sought each other out when we’ve needed the expertise of the other. We are cordial, but far from close. In fact, in the 10 years we’ve known each other, I don’t think we had ever had a non-work related conversation.
That is until last year.
Somehow, just as I was leaving his office one day, I noticed he had something to do with Mt Rainier on his computer.
Now aside from bikes, and maybe wine, there is nothing that will gain my attention more than this mountain. So I asked about it, and he informed me he was signed up to climb it last September.
Well I just sat my ass back down and we started talking about that mountain. His training plans, equipment, guide service everything. Cuz you see, for 10 years, I tried to climb that sucker
I never made it but I read everything there was about it. In addition I met Jim Whittaker (the first man to summit Everest) The Sherpa he summated with, Nawang Gombu (Shoot I was on Nawang Gombu’s rope team when I took this picture) (yes it is being a fanboy, but I can help but think i some way shaking their hands let me touch of piece of Everest)
We talked for quite a while, and many times after that before his climb. I still would not call us friends, but we have more in common,
Last week, in Spokane, we were discussing this year. He has plans to climb St Helens. BOOM, done that 5 times!
Yep, more time sitting and talking, footwear advice, plenty of water, and the level of difficulty depending on the skill set and fitness level. Its been years since I have done it, but I remember it well!
I then recommended the Alaska mountaineering class I took. As I told him about it, I sent these photos to him (gotta love laptops)
The more I talked the more his eyes lit up. Somehow I am betting he has added this to his bucket list. I love getting people excited about adventures.
Then of course there is cycling. ANY time someone at work signs up for or is considering the Seattle to Portland, I am the go to guy! I always make sure to show them a few photos as it is NOT an easy ride!
People always want to know pros and cons of one day in the saddle doing 200 miles or 2 days at 100 each. I’ve talked to people I didn’t even know (hey, so and so sent me to you…) and I was happy to do so. In fact, I have done most of the most popular rides in Washington, I’ve helped quite a few people before and during the ride.
I love to show off pictures of zip lining
But I have sort of rambled from the point of the post.
I have never considered myself the worlds most interesting man,
But when I look back at the things I have done over the years, and continue to do, plus look at the reactions from people who hear these stories for the first time, I just have to smile. I really have taken on more physical challenges than most people I know Why, well my theory is this, its easy to sit and watch the world go by, especially with a glass of wine.
OK this cup of wine took more work
But, for me, when I am older and my options are more limited, I want to have enough memories that I can sit for days and just smile as I remember each and every one. Cuz dammit, when the opportunity arose, I took the jump
And with only 52 years under my belt, there’s a lot more to do and see! Hmm I wonder if there is some place I can get shot out of a cannon.