Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Big E

It was sometime late November, early December. I had the flu the worst I've had it in years. Temperature through the roof, extremely tired, vomiting. There were very few people I wanted to see or talk to in those moments, yet as I was laying miserably in my heated bed, my phone rings. Isaiah.
"Hello" I answer, barely able to squeak an eager sound out of my body.
"I need your help" he responds.

Very few times in my life have I been asked for help from my older brother, so when I am, it's like the first day on a job. I knew this conversation was going to be serious or he would have reached me via other means of communication.

He proceeded to tell me he would be climbing Mount Everest in the coming year. To myself I thought, "Isaiah, you've been saying that for years. You have a job. I'll believe it when I see it." Well, February 3rd he booked a round trip flight to Kathmandu. He's doing it.

The purpose of his call that night was to ask me for any insight, questions, concerns I might have about his plans to ascend Mt. Everest. He has literally thought about it so much for so long, he knew his focus or thoughts may have missed some important reflections. With no hesitation, I began spouting off questions like it was an interrogation.
Why are you going?
What are you afraid of? What's your biggest fear?
What if you don't summit?
Do you think you are composed enough to make good decisions in life threatening situations?
How are you going to justify leaving work for that long?
How can you afford that?
Why now?
What about after climbing it? What's next after climbing the tallest mountain in the WORLD?
If you don't summit, will you go back?
Is traveling to that part of the world safe right now?
How will you combat the high traffic on the mountain of inexperienced climbers?
How long will you be gone?
God forbid, thoughts on death?
Why choose to climb with no bottled oxygen?

The list continued for over an hour. It was a nice distraction from my illness that seemed so minor as we began discussing an endeavor at such life-changing magnitude.

He has now made a deposit for the trek, bought flights, done more research about every facet of Mt. Everest imaginable. I'd say he's more capable of climbing Mount Everest than 99.99999994% of the people on this planet, to be exact.

 Some facts:
About 4,000 people have tried summiting (rapidly increasing)
About 660 people have actually made it to the top (16.5%)
3.6% chance of dying
Youngest person to summit was 13 yrs old
Oldest person to summit was 80 yrs old (in 2013)
1st ascent was 31 years after 1st recorded attempt

As for me, I am terrified, excited, and jealous. Why don't I do extraordinary things like Isaiah? I'm excited for him and scared for him. I pray he has a wonderful experience.

Congrats Isaiah. This is a huge milestone.

"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." 3 John 1:2

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