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Why Climb?

Don’t get me wrong…I love nature and exercise but I like it to be fun…like frisbee or tennis or anything that isn’t torture! I do like hiking but some people take it to an my husband used to do. One of my husband's favorite places to hike, when we lived in Colorado, is called ‘The Incline’ which is described by the Visit Colorado Springs website as “not for the faint of heart”, is rated ‘extreme’ and recommended for advanced hikers. The 2744 steps you must climb to reach the top were once railroad ties. It rises roughly 2,000 feet of elevation in just under a mile up the side of Pikes Peak, ending 8,550 feet above sea level. The trail is the remains of a former 3 foot narrow gauge cable railway whose tracks washed out during a rock slide in 1990. Runners, military, Olympic athletes, and hiking enthusiasts from around the world including the legendary speed skater, Apollo Ono, have all gone to The Incline for training or simply for the challenge. I, not an Olympic athlete, also climbed each of those 2744 and lived to tell about it. But our marriage almost didn’t survive!

Of course, I’m exaggerating but only slightly. My husband climbed regularly for reasons I’ll never understand. They say Enneagram type 9’s are the most connected to nature of all the types and he is living proof. His spirit comes to life when he’s outside and I’ve seen him stand still on a mountain top, stretch his arms open wide, close his eyes, inhale a long breath of air and whisper…”Ruach” on the exhale. Ruach means “breath of God” in Hebrew. I don’t want to take away from that powerful visual but when I finally got to the mountain top I had almost no breath left. The only words I could eek out when I saw my husband standing there with such a look of pride for my accomplishment were…”don’t talk to me.”