We mentioned it a bit in this episode towards the end, but even with as much detail as Jon gives in the podcast you still get only a tiny sliver of the experience. Even with the extra information I’m dishing out here, there is still only the smallest window into the overall trek available.
For example, immediately before my interview with Chris several members of our staff had spontaneously burst into song. For several minutes we were entertained by the sounds of a traditional Sherpa folk song, and it was marvelous. It was another one of those times in the trek where I was completely bowled over by how amazing the whole thing was. I’m pretty sure it was quite visible how wowed I was by the moment, and that’s what propmted the interview from Chris.
As an aside, I have to admit I’m pretty pleased–and even a bit surprised–at how well that interview turned out. A lot of the times when we were being interviewed, we were exhausted from trekking. Combine that with the thinning oxygen as we ascended higher and higher causing your brain to work a bit slower, and we weren’t always at our sharpest during these conversations. I had some pretty groan-worthy moments here and there, but (mercifully) none of them have ended up in an episode yet. Though, I know of at least one that will for sure. (Mind you, I’m not going to let Jon know what moment that is, nor do I want him to leave it out. I’m all for an honest and unfiltered portrayal of the trek, even if I sound dumb in the process. And yes, I’ll probably call myself out on it during the commentary.)
In the next episode, you’ll hear a little about a snowball fight that broke out. And by “broke out”, I mean “instigated by Megan” as it was all her doing. I’ve mentioned it here before, and it was another of those wonderful moments of the trek that happened completely off-camera. Yes, even with as many photographers as there were there, it was actually possible to do something without it being photographed or filmed! Many of my favorite memories from the trek, said snowball fight included, weren’t filmed and will therefore never be reflected in the podcast.
There’s a simple message here: you have to do it to really experience it. And that applies to everything. Stop sitting on the sidelines watching things go by. Stop being a passive participant, or flat out non-participant, in life. I’d watched almost 100 epsiodes of The Rest Of Everest before actually taking part in it, and I foolishly thought that I had gotten a good idea of what the expereince would be like. Boy, was I wrong. My understanding was superficial at best. The difference between watching and doing is like the proverbial night and day. There is no substitute.
So, whatever it is that is your personal Everest Trek, stop thinking about it. Stop wishing you could do it. Stop telling yourself that whatever video you’ve watched, photos you’ve viewed, books you’ve read, are good enough. Whatever that thing is for you… just go out and make it happen.
To quote a wise man, “There is no try, only do or do not.”
Are you doing, or are you not doing?
(Images from The Rest Of Everest podcast are © 2003-2010 TreeLine Productions.)