There are two paths after hardship and defeat. Figure this isn't for you, not a natural fit, or, I am going to conquer weakness, even if my natural abilities aren't all world.Jon Frohlich wrote: ↑Fri Jan 06, 2023 10:23 am As with many others I don't really consider most of my outdoor excursions mountaineering.
I grew up in Nebraska and moved to Colorado in March 2000 when I was 22. I'd already been working in IT since I was 18 and had never done anything in the outdoors. I was an extremely stereotypical computer nerd and an asthmatic. A year or so after moving I realized I'd been basically just holed up in my apartment doing not much of anything and decided to try hiking. I think I went up Green Mountain first. Didn't even come close to making it to the radio tower. Memory is fuzzy but I might have done a mile roundtrip. For some reason decided to try again. Started getting a little better. I remember going up Evergreen Mountain at some point in June 2001 or so and making it all the way up but was sore for 3 days afterward.
Around my birthday in July 2001 two of my coworkers asked if I wanted to try a 14er. Not having any idea what that was or what I was getting myself into I said yes and they decided on Quandary. Aside from sitting down and nearly throwing up at 13,800 or so I eventually made it up. Then hugged a tree on the way down. Then fell asleep in the car on the way home. Somehow or other I persisted and did Grays and Bierstadt that summer as well. I figured out my asthma wasn't bothered by altitude and I enjoyed the outdoors so I kept going. Joined 14erworld at some point. Got to know some hiking partners. Eventually got better gear and learned what I was doing. Also realized that hiking was beneficial to my mental health and made me a happier person.
Fast forward 22 years and I've been hiking on 6 continents, climbed a few things over 15k, finished the 14ers, and my whole family (dogs included) have LoJ profiles. So I guess I offically qualify as some sort of addict to this.
Congratulations on doing the latter, much greater reward internally than just sticking to things that come easy to you. Natural ability is admirable but overcoming adversity is a whole different kind of admirable.
I say that because, I get lost, tend to lollygag, despite my effort don't always think of the things I should or plan well. But having a great time learning along the way.