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Commentary: Everest is inspiration to climb higher

Ross Reily
Dolan Media Newswires

Jackson, MS —I am a big fan of mountain climbing and mountain climbers.

I have never been mountain climbing, mind you, but I find the sport intriguing.

Now, I have done some hiking in the Tetons in Wyoming and other places, but nothing that would rise to any kind of technical climbing whatsoever.

I try to read as much as I can about the subject, and whenever there is anything remotely related to mountain climbing on television, I am glued to the tube.

Knowing my fascination with the climbing of mountains, Everest particularly, my wife had a print of Everest framed for my office. She also found three great books for me and included an old map she found somewhere.

The print of Everest has been a great topic of conversation for those who come in my office, a conversation that eventually comes around to the question, “You’re not going to climb it, are you?”

Well, no.

But it sounds like a great adventure.

I think we all have some type of great adventure inside us, an adventure that while exciting, isn’t always the most prudent thing to do.

For me, one of those great adventures is climbing Mount Everest or one of the other 13 mountains in the world higher than 26,000 feet.

I dream of the trip to the mountain, the planning for the adventure and finally reaching the summit of the mountain, knowing that I have achieved what very few on this planet have ever achieved.
What I don’t ever think about are the dangers of climbing Everest, the dangers that have claimed the lives of more than 140 through the years.

But even if you don’t die from falling or altitude sickness, there are even more dangers, including avalanches, frostbite and any number of illnesses that can be spread around the mountain by climbers.
I digress.

What Everest is to me is more than a pie-in-the-sky adventure dream. It is an inspiration that we can achieve things that are well beyond what our bodies are designed to achieve.

So, when I look across my office these days at the summit of Mount Everest, it serves as a reminder that we are only limited by what we can imagine.

No, I don’t plan on taking off to Nepal any time soon.

But if you have a trip to Tanzania planned, I could be persuaded to make a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. But that’s another story for another day.

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