Taking the Next Step
So today I'm preparing to head out on an adventure with my good friend Mike. I can't help but reflect how far I have come since my diabetes day and my subsequent heart surgery. To be able to journey into the great unknown and challenge myself is absolutely pretty darn cool.
We are heading out to snow-shoe up to the Peter Estin Hut (http://www.hutski.com/hut-routes/peter-estin/peter-estin-hut.html), I will see my god and celebrate that I'M DOING THIS WITH MY HEART, LUNGS, HEAD AND LEGS....BOOYAH! The only motor I'm using is mine! I would've never thought that I was ever going attempt such an adventure in the early part of 2012. I had just been told that I needed heart surgery and I was feeling...well freaked out. But I had already flipped the switch(#fliptheswitch) upon my diabetes diagnose in November of the previous year and I had chosen LIFE.
I had dropped around 40lbs in about 90 days. I remember waking up post-op and thinking to myself that I was alive. I remember thinking that i would be alright. I was barely out of surgery and the nurse was looking into my eyes and checking my pupils and I noticed what beautiful blue eyes she had, its funny I think to this day that I look for beauty in just about everything and everyone, it was shows me that I'm alive, and dammit I'm alive!
Fast forward to this week's trip: I know it will be hard. I know that I will be last up the mountain. The beauty I will get to see is such a great motivation for me. I will witness the snow, the cold crisp air, the trees under their blanket of snow, the sky slowly revealing its intentions on us. Most of all I will celebrate my breath; I will feel and hear my breath as it starts to increase with every step I take and I will give thanks because I am so happy to have it. I will gaze out into the vast open space of the Colorado Rockies and I will say a blessing. I will think my myself for being brave, for being tough, for working hard, I will respect how afraid I was in 2012. I will think about laying in the hospital bed on the first night post-op and remember how out of it I was, I will rememeber thinking that they had moved me to an outdoor loading dock and not knowing why they moved me there and where were they taking me (Nowhere, I never physically left my room).
Today I'm anticipating the feeling of the quiet of the mountain air all around me, I will be worried that my group is waiting on me to move faster but I can only move as my body will allow. I long for the feeling of pride in myself that my little damaged heart is getting it done.. I'm climbing above 11,000 feet. I will thank the universe for allowing me to ride this storm of adventure. I will flash back to walking out of the heart hospital and truly now that this belongs to me and celebrate that achievement.
I can hear my future conversation with myself while heading up to the promise land and it will go something like this:
"JB climb, keep moving forward! Climb that fucking mountain. JB, life is difficult, JB TAKE ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS YOUR GOAL!. Keep looking forward you can't change whats behind you, keep moving forward. There are no promises. Take another step..Do you feel your heart? It feels so good, its working hard, JB there aren't any guarantees. JB keep going, you are not tired!"
Then I will finally get above tree line and I will start to sense the end of this day. My good friend Mike will be there to greet me, most likely he will hike back and check on me and walk the last half mile with me. I will see him looking at me, he will be seeing if I'm okay. We will arrive at our destination and I will feel such accomplishment. I will feel so lucky and I will feel confident and I will tip my hat to the mountains for providing me such challenge and bestowing on me such joy. I will quietly to myself thank my Doctors for doing their job to get me this journey. But most of all I will think my mind for pushing me to these heights and allowing me to dream, to work and to accomplish something that didn't seem possible just 3 and half years ago.