Saturday, March 29, 2008


For our upcoming climb...

"Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." ~Kurt Vonnegut


A friend with whom I work, J, has a son who has been in Iraq for a little over eight months. They were in frequent contact with one another, except for the last month when she hadn't heard anything from him.

Then, on Friday, he showed up at work! She was so happy and relieved to see him, it was such a sweet reunion. He's only home for eighteen days and will return to Iraq, but I know they are both thrilled to be home and I hope they savor the next two and a half weeks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

George Mallory

I had a little extra time this morning at work, so I was perusing various Everest websites. One I found is really interesting with lots of facts and, did you know that most Everest deaths are caused by avalanche as opposed to falling off? I didn't! Anyway, I found another good quote, this one from George Mallory (who attempted Everest and disappeared on the mountain in 1924) about why people climb it.
"The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, 'What is the use of climbing Mount Everest ?' and my answer must at once be, 'It is no use'. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It's no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Algeria Pics

Nauru just uploaded some really great photos from the trip to Algeria--check them out!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Great Quote

" don't learn anything from success. If you want to learn something about yourself, you undergo hard times or you fail because that teaches you something. And maybe you don't want to find out what it is you are going to discover. You hope that if you're placed in a moment that is very difficult like that, that what you are going to find is that you will be an honorable person, and you'll do the right thing and you'll have some measure of grace and courage, but you don't know the answer to that."

Space to Fill

I moved several pieces of furniture around my house this past weekend, transporting one of my bookshelves to the living room. While the one bookshelf already in there is completely filled with glorious books, this one looks a tad sparse. Not needing much encouragement really, I have decided to indulge and purchase a few more books for this sad little bookshelf that desperately needs books on it to make it happy. A few of my choices:

Left For Dead: My Journey Home from Everest by Beck Weathers

High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest by David Breashears

Priestblock 25487: A Memoir of Dachau by Jean Bernard

This Our Exile: A Spiritual Journey With the Refugees of East Africa by James Martin, SJ

Making All Things New by Henri Nouwen

An Infinity of Little Hours: Five Young Men and Their Trial of Faith in the Western World's Most Austere Monastic Order by Nancy Maguire

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice by T.K.V. Desikachar

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Storm Over Everest

Storm Over Everest will air on PBS, Tuesday, May 13, 2008 from 9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. This is the story of David Breashears who was on Mt. Everest during the 1996 expedition leading an IMAX crew. This documentary takes Breashears back to the summit of Everest as he conquers more than the physical demands of the climb, and remembers the rescue efforts (and failures) from 12 years ago.

A line from Beck Weathers, who was rescued on that expedition, "Everybody always says that the definition of character is what you do when nobody is looking. And when we were up there, we didn't think anybody was looking. And so everybody did pretty much what the inner person, the real them, the exposed them would do ... I got to witness those acts--the good ones, the bad ones. And the individuals that came through, that did well, that were selfless ... Every one of them to me is a hero ..."


Monday, March 17, 2008

Went to the Green

5K run went rather well on Saturday. I am happy to report that I didn't stop and finished in under my goal time, so I am rather thrilled. The results have been posted and I finished 625th out of 1500 with a time of 27:37 (that's a pace of 8:54 per mile).

I do not care for running. I don't like my lungs feeling like they're about to explode or my legs feeling as if they are going to give out at any moment. However, there's something exhilarating about it which challenges me to really push my limits and flirt with my edge. The minute I finish a race (and debate whether or not I am going to throw up) I say "I am NEVER doing this again." But shortly thereafter, once my legs have recovered and I see my results, I am inspired to do it again--to beat my best time, to be a part of the mayhem again. On that note, I have convinced Kili to run with me in the Fidler 5K on Saturday, April 19 benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Ma and Pa will be out of town and unable to run (boo!) and I am still waiting to hear back from one other person. If anyone else is interested--join us!

So now I have another race to "train" for and a new pace time to beat. My new goal: 8:00 miles.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Swiss Alps

My upcoming trip to Switzerland in May will now be even better than I had originally ever dreamed. Yes, because I will be going with Nauru (thanks Pa!) and it will be wonderful, exciting, and fun...but also because we're going to make a trip to the Eiger!

The Eiger is located in the Bernese Alps, rising 13,025 feet. The Nordwand (North Wall) is the spectacular north face of the Eiger and is one of the six great north faces of the Alps. It was first climbed in 1938 by a German-Austrian group. Subsequently the face has been climbed many times, and today is regarded as a formidable challenge more because of the increased rockfall and diminishing ice-fields than because of its technical difficulties, which are not at the highest level of difficulty in modern alpinism. Since 1935, sixty climbers have died attempting the north face, earning it the German nickname, Mordwand, or "murder wall", a play on the face's real German name Nordwand.

The Jungfraubahn railway runs in a tunnel inside the Eiger, and two internal stations provide easy access to viewing-windows in the mountainside. The railway terminates at Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe, located in the col between the Monch and the Jungfrau.

It is located approximately 50 km from Lucerne and Nauru is happy to visit the mountain for a day. With my newfound appreciation and admiration for mountain climbing and trekking, I am so incredibly excited to see such a great (in)famous mountain! No, I will not be attempting any sort of ascent, but I will definitely take the train up to almost 11,000 feet! How incredible!

Decisions Part 2

So, after much thought and prayer, I have decided to turn down the job offered to me. I think it's in my best interest for many reasons to continue what I am doing now. It would have been a major change in lifestyle and other factors didn't make it all that appealing.

Actually, in turning it down, I received a "project" from my boss that is incredibly exciting and will definitely be challenging. He will be traveling to a university in Michigan this summer in hopes to land the bid for Sodexho to take over the food service contract. I will be primarily responsible for gathering statistics, conducting research and ultimately writing the proposal for him. Very cool. I feel that this opportunity can definitely be beneficial to my career development and I will gain new skills that should surely be marketable one day.

So it's been an interesting day, needless to say. This afternoon (depending on the weather) I will most likely go for a run, take a nap or paint the bedroom. Tonight Kili and I are going to see Sweeney Todd at the Workshop Theatre, which I am very much looking forward to. Then it's early to bed because the Get to the Green 5K is tomorrow bright and early! Pa isn't feeling well and may not be running. :( But it will be great having him and Mom there to cheer us on!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


As a good friend once told me, I must start this story out right--"So there I was..."

Minding my own business at the front desk, with my mood matching the weather, the morning had started out like a typical Tuesday.

And then I was offered a new job. I don't want to give out a lot of details yet, but it's definitely something to think and pray about. There are numerous pros and cons associated with this opportunity and it's the first time in a long time that I've been cognizant of the clear fork in the road.

What will it mean to take it? pass it up? Which decision will best serve me? What is the responsible "adult" decision to make? So instead of a relaxing evening at home with nothing more than what to have for dinner on my mind, I will begin discerning.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Not Pointing North

So I was feeling pretty good after a 3 mile run yesterday, so I decided to go home and do a little yoga. I found a series of poses in an old Yoga Journal that I wanted to try, and was a little bit too ambitious. I should have known from the title, "Hip Parade" that these poses would be quite challenging. However, I tend to live in a somewhat delusional state when it comes to yoga poses. The models always make it look so easy and trick me into thinking my body can do what theirs can.
My hips are incredibly tight and I really should have been prepared for the chaos that would ensue when attempting these poses. However, being optimistic and a little stupid, I set out on my hip opening journey. I began my "practice" with some sun salutations, triangle pose, side angle pose, pigeon pose, lizard pose and a few others. I was working my way up to Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana (aka Compass Pose). I was doing quite well (especially for not having done any yoga in over two months) and was confident I would be able to manipulate my body into this really awesome posture.
I read over the little snippet of how to get into the pose, wrapped my mind around it, and then set out to try it. So I took a few breaths and tried to center myself and focus on the task at hand. Needless to say, it did not go well. I felt like a pretzel that had been mangled in the twisting machine--it was not a pretty sight. I learned that not only are my hips way too tight for this particular posture, my sides and hamstrings aren't quite stretched out enough either. The guy in the picture below looks elegant and beautiful. I looked wretched and hysterical. All I could do was laugh and resign myself to the fact that it's going to take a lot of practice and a lot more stretching to turn myself into a compass!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Anusara Yoga in Columbia

John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga, is in Columbia this weekend for a workshop. Hosted by none other than the wonderful, beautiful and inspiring Stacey Millner-Collins, John Friend took time out from his busy teacher training workshop to speak with The State about his own practice, philosophy and of course, his favorite yoga pose. The full article can be viewed here.

I was accepted into the teacher training program, but a few things have come up which aren't allowing me to participate. It's disappointing, but I try to focus on getting better first and also realizing that there will be other opportunities to do this. There's plenty of time left...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Everest Attempt

Min Bahadur Sherchan, 77 years old plans to attempt to summit Everest in Spring 2008 from the south side. Min Bahadur Sherchan would become the oldest summiter of Everest if successful. He has a team of 12 strong Nepal Sherpas to assist him. He comes from Bhurung Tatopani Village Development Committee-9 of Myagdi District in Western Development Region in Nepal. he has climbed Mount Naya-khanga Peak (5844m) in Nepal on Sep.11, 2006. Mr. Sherchan is ex-army who has the dream of summiting Mt. Everest.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Runnin' Again

Mom reminded me today to register for the Get to the Green 5K run taking place on Saturday, March 15! Guess that means I need to start running a little bit more, eh? :-)
But now I am registered and "guaranteed" a t-shirt and free ticket to the afternoon's festivities in 5 Points. I must ask myself, is it really worth running three miles for a t-shirt and a ticket to an event which I cannot partake in the imbibing? Probably not. However, it is TOTALLY worth it to see Dad and Kili dressed up as leprechauns. To see that, I'd even run 5 miles again.