Today, I am thankful for Sir Edmund Hillary, 1919-2008.
I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.
It is not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves.
~Sir Edmund Hillary
By reaching the summit of Mt. Everest in 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay inspired the dreams of explorers and mountain climbers around the world. Imagine that. Standing atop the highest peak on earth.
Although I never aspired to climb Everest, I think that S considered the possibility when we first moved to Colorado. Of course, we were much younger then and his circle of close friends included elite extreme athletes who often invited him to join their Colorado expeditions. I am glad that he accepted many of the invitations. I settled on climbing several 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado - enough of a challenge for this California girl. Then, life and work got in the way. As the years flew by, our mountaineering dreams faded, replaced by new outdoor adventures, experiences and priorities.
Sir Edmund was right. Each of us has our own Everest to climb. He made it to the top of his, an act that changed his life forever.
I am still ascending my Everest. And, like any seasoned mountaineer, I pray for perfect weather, a well-marked trail, at least one experienced climbing partner and a clear view of the summit.
For this blessing, I am grateful.