I had given up on my goal, it had become more of a vague dream I once had. Yet the picture, meant to inspire me still sits on my desk at work, but most of the time I just don’t notice it.
Why had I given up my dream?
Well for the last two years I have been struggling with neck and lower back pain that radiates down my right arm and leg. As my fitness stands, my goal is impossible and for all my bravado I guess I really have started to believe that there is no way to fix this problem. After all, most of my mother’s family have suffered debilitating back problems, why should I be able to overcome mine, when they haven’t. The doctors can’t find any obvious physical abnormality causing the nerve pain and physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment together with Alexander Technique lessons have had limited success in managing it. Medication has helped but that comes with further limitations, such as I can’t drive or ride my motorbike. So I guess I have been feeling fairly disheartened recently.
In my last post I asked “what am I waiting for?” why was I putting my life on hold waiting for my back to get better? Since then I happened across The Red Bull Stratos Mission. This is truly incredible. Felix Baumgartner an accomplished parachutist and BASE jumper plans to ascend to 120 000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and make a freefall jump. Not only would this be the highest jump ever, he also hopes to reach supersonic speeds during freefall, becoming the first man to do so without the protection of a vehicle. Watching the video of the unmanned test flight, at the height he plans to jump from you can see the curvature of the earth and black of the sky above, its not quite space (327 360 feet) but still its an awesome sight …and all this whilst pictures of the jump are broadcast live, with a 30 second delay, in case of disaster – so no pressure. Tuesday 9th October I watched through the delays due to weather and technical problems, then the set up only for the mission to be cancelled due to too high winds at the last minute, but I was captivated. It looks like the next launch window will be on Sunday 14th October – I’ll be watching. If Felix Baumgartner can envision and get this close to achieving this amazing feet, even if he isn’t successful in his attempt what he has achieved in getting this close is amazing, then how can I let go of my belief that my dream is possible so easily. The fact that they can’t find a cause for my back pain means it is likely mechanical, its to do with the way I use my body when sitting, standing, walking etc putting pressure on the nerves, no doubt in the long run this would lead to ware and tare of the spinal joints that would show up on an X-ray, this is what seems to have happened in my auntie’s case. However, this suggests that I can overcome the problem, before it comes to that, with the correct exercise and fitness routine, why I stopped believing this I don’t know. So today I again chose to believe in my dream and make it my goal.
The awe inspiring north face (or more precisely northwest face) of the Eiger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Before I am 40 (7 years) I intend to climb the Eiger. In the past I have always said that my aim was simply to summit by the most difficult route I was capable of, as I don’t have any concept of what my capabilities are I was never willing to commit …but, if I am being honest here, and not limiting myself by what I believe to be possible, I want to climb the north face, the Eigernordwand. I don’t know if I will ever have the fitness, skill or balls (figuratively speaking, being female and all) to actually do this. There I admitted it, I know its dangerous, no I’m not crazy …well not much. Why this mountain, why this face. Just look at the picture of the face towering above the meadow it raises out of, it’s stunning and scary, and steeped in history, and I have a hero, and he always wanted to climb it, I don’t think he ever did make it but after reading his books, how could I not want to do it. So where do I start, I’m currently 32 over weight, unfit and in constant pain, the most I’ve done in the past is some gentle hill walking and climbed on an indoor climbing wall, and not much of that in the last two years. I don’t know how I get from where I am, to where I want to be or what my intermediate goals need to be, but I’m going to figure it out and start heading in the right direction. I once learned an important lesson on a climbing wall, I don’t have to believe it’s possible, I just have to determinedly and stubbornly keep reaching for that next hold, but that’s another story.
- Watch Live: Felix Baumgartner Freefalls from the Edge of Space (techland.time.com)