Thursday, August 9, 2012

Re-learning to Read and to Imagine

I did something unusual a few days ago - I read (part of) a book. I’m re-training my attention span for reading, which had become miniscule. With my head in email all day at work, a magazine article was about my limit. Going Alone: Women’s Adventures in the Wild, given to me by a friend who understands these things. It is a collection of short stories, so not too much of a first outing.

Got me imagining. Remembering (more of that early 90’s/early 40’s I talked about in “Getting Out There Again”). Pico de Orizaba in southeastern Mexico. Summit 18,500 feet. What do you think was up there? An iron lattice cross twice as tall as I am and a sizeable statue of La Virgen de Guadalupe. And incredible views and exhilaration.

As I was getting away from that lifestyle, I told myself “I want to do one more climb”. That never happened but the idea never really died, even as my age advanced and my fitness level waned.

I’ve kept up the basics, but one of my priorities for retirement is to regain a level of fitness I had abandoned. I’ve always done better with a reason to get/stay fit rather than exercise in-and-of-itself. Rock climbing, back-packing were always good incentives for whatever fitness regime I was engaging in in town during the week.

I also am in need of an adventure. An “outside the comfort zone” experience. I had been saving flight points for this, not really knowing where exactly. Several months ago I got an email from an outdoor adventure company I had traveled with before: they were running Himalayan trek trips. That stuck. I fanaticized. I researched. I doubted (are my knees up to this?).  November (the primary season) was just too soon. Trips take a lot of researching and planning and I wanted … rest.

The second season - spring, rhododendrons, fewer tourist (something I had usually opted for anyway). I doubted some more. A price deal arose – short timeline. So that last weekend between my last days of work (when I had A.D.D. – see “The Final Run-up” post) – deadline looming, I signed up.

Once on a trip to Chilean Patagonia (highly recommended, by the way) I had a casual conversation with a woman – probably around my age at the time – 41. She was working as a cook on a cargo ship that went from Punta Arenas (where we were) to Tierra del Fuego. That sounded so cool to me. Still does. I soooo wanted to just keep going even further south. Tierra del Fuego…Antarctica. I like to go to places with exotic names - part of the draw to Nepal – “Kathmandu”… “Annapurna” … how can these places NOT capture the imagination.

So, I’m re-learning to read. And to imagine. And to do what I imagine.

No comments:

Post a Comment