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“Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”
The description made me stop and think for a while and eventually I came to a conclusion that this is possibly one of the most misused words in the English vocabulary.
Let me place some context around this.
I have an ambition to climb one, or more, of the world’s 8,000 metre high peaks. I am training and working towards Cho Oyu, the world’s 6th highest mountain.
To further my love affair with the hills and mountains I teamed up with Adventure Consultants, a mountaineering company based in New Zealand’s South Island a few years back to assist me in achieving this goal.
My reason is no more simpler or complicated than wanting to see what I am capable of, what I can achieve, to explore new horizons and to develop as a person, to stand at the edge and look at the world through a different lens…
But is the goal of high altitude climbing selfish?
Being a deep thinking person I spent some time pondering this notion. I realise there is an element of an individual pursuit involved, but did it really fit the definition of selfishness?
As individuals our life and the way we lead it creates a mosaic of who we are.
The pieces of a jigsaw puzzle randomly sitting in a box are meaningless unless they are joined. In much the same way the pieces of our lives, scattered, cannot portray or project anything about who we are or what we seek to be until pieced together.
Interlocked they provide a mosaic of whom we really are…
The picture unfolds.
Whom or what would we be if we were not able to join the random pieces together and pursue our individual dreams.
Would we ever fulfill our real potential?
Or would a fear of selfishness limit us and how we develop?
Is it selfish to want to put all the pieces of the puzzle together?
Like an unsatisfied lover, in recent years I started to look further afield with a desire to experience more from my affair with the mountains…
Three years ago I commenced training designed to assist and enable me to contemplate climbing an 8,000 metre peak in the Himalayan Mountain Range. The mountain of choice Cho Oyu borders Tibet and Nepal and is the world’s sixth highest mountain peak and possibly the most accessible of the world’s fourteen 8,000 metre peaks.
The fun is in the journey, right?
I have had some great times developing my rope skills climbing in the Blue Mountains not far from Sydney as well as undertaking an extreme fitness regime.
And talk about a good laugh here and there, strewth, I can’t even tie my shoelaces properly (it’s a long story) but here I am tying myself off on vertical rock-faces!
Unfortunately injuries over the past year or more proved to be a significant setback and at times had me questioning whether I should continue! But the injuries are now behind me and a solid fitness regime is under way to get me on track!
My head is back in the right place, the switch has been flicked once again…
And crikey, the “rat” is gnawing away and it needs to be fed – that’s a good sign, for me anyway, as Janet rolls her eyes with a wry smile breaking through ever so slyly.
Janet knows the rat well, it has led us on many wonderful adventures…
And how good is New Zealand’s Southern Alps playground – truly a mountaineer’s playground.
After a reasonably steep multi-pitch climb I crossed this snow covered Arête in the cover photo on the way to the summit of Auroa.
Whenever I view this photograph it reminds me that “standing back from the edge is safe, but the view is never as good” – it reminds me what I love so much about the mountains, it inspires me to pursue my goal…
So, one step at a time, let’s do this together!
Baz – The Landy
The girl’s, Janet and Leah, packed their men, TomO, me, brother-in-law Ray (the Kiwi) and young Aubrey, off on Saturday afternoon, before glamming up and heading to a beautiful French restaurant in Newcastle…
And what an awesome effort by nephew 5-year old Aubrey, he walked half of the 25 kilometre hike!
And the Kiwi showed some great endurance carrying him and a 20-kilo pack the rest of the way! Mind you he did run 100-kilometres of this route just a couple of weeks back in 20-hours!
The Australian Bush hey, you’ve got to love it.