Some of use "climbing a mountain" as a metaphor, and others of us actually go out and climb mountains! The amazing Don Harty is just one of the many dedicated hikers and climbers in the Cr8 Fitness family, and recently he had the opportunity to do an amazing trip to Mt. Whitney in California.
Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48, with an elevation of 14,505 feet. For perspective, our own Mt. Washington here in NH has an elevation of 6,288 feet. Yeah, Whitney is BIG!
I "borrowed" the following account from Don's Facebook Page. If you want to see even more beautiful pics, you should check it out.
"Had the hike of my life yesterday. Kate Koonz and I hiked up to Trail Camp on Friday. I carried a 45 pound pack for the six mile hike because of the weather extremes on Mt Whitney. After a night in a cold tent with gusty winds Kate and I struck out at 6:00 AM up the Mt. Whitney Trail. During the first 2 miles up the section of trail affectionately known as the 97 bleeping switchbacks. The altitude hit me between the eyes. At around 13,000 feet I could not get enough oxygen in my lungs to power the body. I would climb for 20 steps and have to rest. It was during this stretch that I seriously considered quitting and going back down. Fortunately for me, Kate pretended that she was exhausted as well so I kept on plugging. We finally reached the ridge and actually descended 500 feet to join the John Muir Trail and then for the next 2 miles ascended at a more gradual rate up to the summit on Whitney at 14,505 feet in elevation. The five mile hike included a few traverses through snow fields that were 2-3 feet deep. By the time we reached the summit I was more beaten and exhausted than on any previous hike. We spent an hour on the summit and then headed down for the 11 mile hike back to the car for a total of 16 miles on the day. Unlike a hike last month on Katahdin where I left my dad’s ashes in the glove compartment, I brought the Old Man up with me and sprinkled them at the summit of a mountain that was on his bucket list but that he was never able to climb. We got out of the woods at 8:30 by flashlight and headed back down to our rental cottage in Lone Pine. How exhausted was I? For those of you that know me well this should tell it all. We picked up a pizza and a six pack of beer to bring back to the cottage and before I went to bed I drank only about 3/4 of one bottle. That’s exhausted. Today we drove Through Death Valley to Las Vegas. The temperature hit 121 degrees. We stopped at Badwater which at 282 feet below sea level is the lowest point in North America. So in less than 24 hours Kate and I stood at the highest point in the lower 48 states as well as the lowest point. California is a state of extremes. looking forward to heading home tomorrow."
Don sent us a couple pics and this very kind message:
"Good morning Nancy & Dean
Below is a picture of me at the summit of Mt. Whitney yesterday. It is a picture that would be impossible without the contribution that the CR8 program has made to my physical fitness and conditioning. My lungs were struggling at the high altitudes but the legs never missed a beat. Thanks for all you do."
I don't know about you, but I am inspired. I will be 53 years old next month, and Don's got a few years on me. Do you remember when you were a kid and you thought 40 was ancient? I'd like to think it's just now that I have really even got warmed up, and there is much adventure that awaits. Guys like Don make me want to make it happen.
And truthfully, it is really cool to see that "MTXE" shirt reaching new heights, literally. I just went out to see the 6:15am training crew, whose tradition is to wear that shirt every Monday, and sure enough, there they were. "Mental Toughness & Extra Effort" will carry you far.
So what mountains do you want to climb? Maybe it's a real mountain, like Mt. Whitney. Or maybe it's another adventure that you have been putting off for too long. As long as you are above ground and breathing there is still time. I started my first business in my 40's, and my second in my 50's. My wife's Uncle Carl skiis big mountains in his 80's, for crying out loud. Do you really want to sit on the couch (that could be a metaphor too) for the rest of your life?
A little "tough love" here. It ain't gonna happen by skipping workouts, eating a bunch a crap, and watching TV until all hours of the night. I don't make the rules, but I do know what happens when you ignore them. I am talking to me as much as I am to you.
Get Up. Get Started. Get Going.
There are mountains to climb.
Race you to the top!