One Word: Katahdin

“When do we start? ;)”

…the text that started it all.  The one that meant that there would be mere hours between me and :: pauses :: A Whole Lot of pain!

See, my friend Ed has been climbing the beast that is Mount Katahdin for about ten years or so.   I’ve always wanted to go, but I was either never free when training time was going on, or I just didn’t have the guts to “pull the trigger”.  Over the last few years I’ve been slowly building the cahones to make this happen though.  But like any “extreme challenge” in life that first step is a doosie and this sure as hell was no exception.

I don’t know what it is.  I mean I have jumped out of a plane at over 10,000 feet so this should have been an easy choice right?  Well as I look back upon skydiving that first step was actually pretty easy…Sure, once you’re up in the air, there is no turning back; but the actual first step was only a step onto a plane, something that I’ve done many many times.   Even the actual jump out of the plane was easy  :: pauses :: although that was more about the instructor telling  me that we were going on three, counting to three, but subtly only rocking forward twice before hurling us both through the sky Johnny Utah style,,, but I digress!

There were really two things that made the choice to climb Katahdin easier.  The first was knowing that my friend Wade did it.  I didn’t really consider him to be much more or less fit than I, and I figured that if he can do it so can I.  And then when I recently saw some pictures of another friend of mine dominating some massive peak…. the text had to be sent.

So there I was in the middle of the first of three training sessions to prepare me to climb what has been hailed as the most difficult climb east of the Mississippi.  Barely able to move my legs at times, and just feeling what can only be described as almost a frustration that it was taking all that effort to move over a rock that some 3 year old could climb over with ease…when my dreams were almost dashed… See I got a little more insight into that trip with Wade.  Turns out that it did not go smoothly at all!  A third of the way up the mountain Wade had drunk all the water, and Wade’s feet were so blistered that as the were coming down every thousand feet or so Wade had to take his socks off and ring out the blood.  :: gulps to himself ::

Well, after 4 hours of climbing I had finished the training, gone about 35% of the distance that we would have liked to go, and had been given clear instructions to do some training during my “off time”….the off time that starts tomorrow!  My end goal is to climb about 8 miles in about 4 hours (about 30% faster then the other day).  but we shall see what happens.  When I do my final “guided” training with Ed, I’ll give him a pretty big say as to how well my level of fitness fits with the task at hand.

So will I be dominating the Knife Edge in a few weeks?  Time will tell!

Something about winter or is it summer (working)

Well hello there!  This was supposed to be about mountain climbing and it just kind of morphed.   It’s got potential, but if you want to see what by brain “spews” out before the final draft here it is.  Sometimes it all just ends up on the page pretty quickly, but today it just seemed like I was missing something.

:: busts out his spice rack ::

“In the depth of winter”, he said.
Ice all around
Crashing and steel
As it pounds through your drums

And as if by magic
You feel the first drip
You see the first ray
And ponder the past

You ponder what was
And of what could be
As her winds blow cold
In the depths of this snow

A drip
And another Drip
Gives way to Drips
As it melts all around

Slow as may be
The rivers they flow
As if almost too deep
Yet just wide enough

Have I found my “Invincible Summer”
Now tropical island
I’ll have a beer

The tallest peaks
Are always the ones
That take the time
To Build your soul

Behind the Eight Virtues

Hi everyone!    Pardon the silence as of late, but I’ve been toying with the idea of writing on here about the character traits and well the “personal code” that I have. My “Eight Virtues” if you will.  Well the first post is turning into a pretty personal one and wasn’t quite sure if I should post it.  Now I should say that this whole concept of eight virtues isn’t my idea at all, but it was something that I heard and really identified with then I was a kid.

As you may now I am a recovering addict… a video game one that is! :-P   Ok ok  I’ll be serious.  That was actually true though, but I deal with it well, and for some reason I have found it pretty easy to ignore “the stuff” most of the time. (it helps that the closest real arcade to me is in NH)  Well, I got to playing this one game series called Ultima.  The first time I saw someone play Ultima IV I fell love and really wanted to play it.    The game was genius.. y’see it was an RPG (role playing game), but it wasn’t about stopping the evil thing that was about to destroy life as you knew it.  After the 3rd one, the evil was pretty much gone.  Instead, in Ultima IV, the king at the time was trying to join all his peoples together in hopes that they could rally behind one great virtuous person….”The Avatar”.  In it you played as the hero travelling across the lands, and trying to figure out how to become the most virtuous person in all the lands.

In this game there were eight virtues.  Honesty, Honor, Valor, Justice, Sacrifice, Spirituality, Compassion, Humility.  Each virtue was part of one of the principals of Truth, Love, and/or Courage. Your goal was to learn these virtues in and out and meditate at that virtue’s shrine with a particular mantra… once you were virtuous enough you’d get an eighth of an ankh.  Once you had a full ankh you could go to the biggest dungeon and get the book of ultimate wisdom to finish the game.

I don’t know what it was, but I took all of those virtues to heart in one way or another, and i still do today.  Some more than others of course…Either way I find each of them blog worthy.

It was kind of cool as each virtue had its own color, and as the primary colors mixed you’d get other virtues.  Spirituality was white (the combination of all the virtues), and humility  (opposite of pride)  was black as pride is the absence of virtue.  Humility is the foundation of all virtues.

So that’s my background on that… eventually I’ll get to them all.  I’m almost done with Honesty… :: gulps ::

Hope to have it done soon!

(Not So) Deep Thoughts By Smashing Happy: Cell Phones

Someone should do a web series called “If they had a cell phone” where they remake classic movies and/or TV shows like The Blair Witch Project, Halloween, Panic Room, or I dunno Lord of the Rings…and imagine them if they had cell phones. I think it would be Awesome! Oh wait someone kind of already kind of did that…

So instead, how about someone remakes new movies and/or shows imagining the cast without being able to use cell phones…like 24, James Bond, or Burn Notice.