Feeling Good, Feeling Strong. Feeling Great. Feeling Good.
I'm still in a sort of dreamy state the morning after my first summit of Rainier. The biting I feel in my quads and the bruising that are appearing on my ankles, shins and sternum remind me that it really happened.
Yesterday was a long day, but, as I expected, the adrenaline rush lasted all day. We woke up at 1a.m. and my head hit the pillow again at 10p.m. In between, I achieved what I've been training for since March. I spent a lot of those 21 hours yesterday thinking not just about where my next step would be, but also about all the steps I took to put myself on Mt. Rainier. I thought about how much slack was in the rope between myself and Abby in front of me (which Brenda seemed to continually comment on!) but also about how I reeled in all my free time this summer in preparation. I took in amazing, beautiful views and reminded myself of all my amazing and beautiful friends and family members who helped me get there.
I tried to share with my climbing team last night how summiting Rainier was more than just the excitement, the grandeur of overlooking the northwestern point of the U.S. Indeed, we had views of Baker and Glacier; Adams looking every bit the younger sister of Rainier, stood in full relief; the crater of St. Helens humbled and showed us the power within the mountains; the conical Hood in the distance; and further south was Jefferson. Seattle, the Puget Sound and the Olympics were stretched out beyond Liberty Ridge. Yakima and beyond on the other side of the crater rim. Abby, Susie and Dave were all floored by that the same way I was. Eric and Brenda had seen it innumerable times before, yet they both shared and reveled in our awe. Dena, an inspiration to the climbers and the guides alike, vowed to take herself to the summit next year.
What I felt yesterday, what I had trouble putting into words while I stuffed my face with pizza, was that the process of physically and mentally preparing myself for the climb coupled with asking for donations from my friends and family made the climb a long and very rewarding endeavor. Brenda, Erik and Nancy Hooyman took turns reminding us of Chris Hooyman's energy and spirit. Kim from Passages NW (one of the organizations that traditionally received funding from CHOEF) joined us for dinner and shared stories of girls who benefited from our efforts. These elements all conjoined to make the climb really special. It made reaching the summit that much sweeter, the views that much more grand and the aches and pains I feel this morning that much more profound.
I did it! And I give myself full credit for preparing and succeeding. I worked hard and sweated a lot. I spent time, money, and a fair amount of mental energy to face the challenges. And it all started with that first step back in March when Rachel asked "Would you ever want to climb Mt Rainier?" and then two days later when Brenda talked about the Hooyman Memorial Climb on the sidelines of a soccer field.
I hope you enjoy my blog. Sharing my thoughts and workout strategies has been another part of the process that I really enjoyed. In the coming days I'll be cleaning up the mess of photos I've posted. I'll be adding more photos too, and filling in some blanks, so visit again.
It's not too late to donate!
John’s Mt Rainier climb benefited the Chris Hooyman Outdoor Education Fund. You can donate through John’s Pay Pal account. Under 'PAYMENT FOR' put 'CHOEF DONATION.' Thanks!
Posted by johnclimbsrainier
at 11:13 AM PDT
Updated: Friday, July 29, 2005 2:05 PM PDT