I first became fascinated with Mt. Everest when I read a book by Jon Krakauer called “Into Thin Air.” The story was a first hand account of an expedition he was on while writing for “Outdoor” magazine. The expedition he entered into happened to be the deadliest in years and the story ultimately turned into a tale of tragedy and survival. I for one am no mountain climber, and have zero interest in doing something like that. Personally, however, I find great intrigue in watching other people try to achieve such a feat.
Lately I’ve started watching a TV show on Discovery about an expedition to the summit of Mt. Everest. In my eyes, it’s like bringing the book I so famously loved, to life. To see the moutain and all of the challenges it brings with it as a living creature is amazing. The moutain snarls, spits and growls at the climbers as they inch their way up miles of jagged, vertical edges. Everest is waiting to swallow them, but they are bound and deterimed to summit their ultimate rival.
One of the climbers in particular literally took my breath away. Mogens Jensen is a 30 year old man from Denmark. He hails from a country with zero mountains, yet he is the quickest climber of the group. It also turns out that he is the only athsmatic on the expedition, and the only one to attempt a summit with zero bottled oxygen. The summit of Everest is 5 miles above earth, where the air is too thin for a helicopter to fly, and where the brain starves for oxygen. In fact, most climbers forget their names at such altitude. But Mogens is going to attempt the impossible by trusting his body to absorb enough oxygen to survive at the summit; while being an athsmatic to top it off.
I quickly googled Mogens because I was so fascinated, and I found out that he didn’t fly to Nepal for this once in a lifetime opportunity. He ran. And he biked. From Denmark. He took 100 days and biked over 11,000 miles to then climb to the top of the world. Who does that?
Watching this show has made me think about how people truly live their lives, and it really got me to question what truly living is.
Does climbing mountains equal living? Jumping out of airplanes? Doing missionary work? Being a socialite? Being a mother? What really constitutes living?
I feel like I’m at a point in my life where I need to start figuring out what I need to do in order to really live.
What is important to me that makes me feel alive?
Existing is one thing. Living is another.