Sunday, July 11, 2010

why not climb mt fuji?

Let me tell you a tale... I struggled with the title for this tale because really it could have been a number of things...
Beastly Mountain Women (BMW)
Jo vs. the Volcano
The Question "Why?"

The Question "Why?" was the title I picked whilst climbing Mt. Fuji.
That's right kiddies, I climbed Mt. Fuji for my second total time. But that's getting ahead of myself...
because what I want to tell you is about the journey.

This is the tale of how everyone conquered Mt. Fuji together...

Some of our friends were more excited about climbing than others... seriously, Ninyo climbed the whole way in this Gachapi outfit.

All the friends started off together and there was a lively camaraderie between each other.
The scenery was beautiful! It's really unusual to be able to see clearly from Mt. Fuji.  Most days there is a thick cloud that covers all of Mt. Fuji and once you climb through it you cannot see below.  But not on July 10th.  We had wonderful climbing weather!!

 Oh my! When I see Mikey I feel like I'm in the clouds....
ha ha that's cheesy!
But seriously, I love this picture of my honey in the clouds!
(Jordan, Mikey wasn't wearing his camelback like this on accident.  He was also carrying my backpack!)

Now if the day was young, the weather gorgeous and I was climbing with the love of my life.  You'd think I'd be skipping up Fuji like Bambi during spring.  I should be a young spring chicken.
But. I'm. Not.
I think the hardest part of climbing was a. catching my breath  and b. the view when not looking out and down.
Because when you weren't looking out and down you were looking UP! Stinkin' up the whole way!  It was SO discouraging to see that your route was long, steep and awful! Emphasis on awful!  No offense sacred mountain but I'm not a fan of your steep upward awful route.
And this is where, my sweet little lambies, I thought of you.
I wrote a blog in my head that is semi this one you are reading although I titled it The Question "Why?"
And the question why is.... Why am I climbing this?  I have this terrible habit of mentally breaking down whenever I physically torture... i mean, exercise.  For instance, when I did my own and only (to date) half marathon I thought halfway through it, "Why am I doing this to myself?"
And so, it was with Mt. Fuji.  I kept thinking, "Why am I climbing this terrible mountain? Why didn't I just drive up to station 5, take a picture and then go home in time to catch a movie?"
But I didn't.
And in case you didn't notice, this sacred mountain is actually sacred lava gravel!
So at this point, my husband was probably wishing he had brought his ear plugs so he couldn't hear me huffing, puffing and chanting the line from the tortoise and the hare, "slow and steady" I'd say for my excuse for stopping at every switchback.  Then we'd make it a goal to go two more before stopping.
Who wants to be the tortoise? No one really. Everyone wants to be the hare but let me tell you something people.... the cocky little hare takes a prideful nap and loses!!
So the tortoise with her slow and steady pace, huffing and puffing, achy knees and cramping back is doing just fine.  Even though she'd wishes at points someone would just offer to carry her....

in the end, the tortoise knows with all her heart that she just had to find her own pace and go her own way and take her time.  And reaching her goal, no matter the time, would feel just as good as someone who takes a cocky rabbit nap.

Hmmm... am I rambling? Anyway, slow and steady won the race that day.  No, I was not the first to summit but I did summit.
5 hours from trail head to top!

And Mikey and I met up with Tomohito our dear friend and we got to finish the climb with him.  That is more satisfying than actually finishing is the journey with people.

And please excuse my silly expressions.  I was somewhere between elation and exhaustion!

point in case...
I'm pretty much in love with reaching my goal!
Climbing the mountain and reaching the top reminded me of my best friend Kelli and a talk that she gave one time about how climbing Mt. Elbert was like her life at that time.  She talked about how the false peaks would discourage her but that she kept her focus upward and onward.  Keeping her eyes on a goal helped her to get through the pain of the climb.
I can see her point and like to consider that practicing climbing or physically exerting myself will perhaps train me in other areas to hang in there and keep going.  We should keep our eyes on the prize and that will lead us onward and upward.
Is anyone else hearing Reepicheep in their ears?

Making the top was amazing butYay! We made it!
Joanna, Kylie and Monique

Burly Mountain Women (BMW)

Mikey's excited to be on the summit! But we had to hurry down before the sun set!

 Thank you Mt. Fuji for not letting me give up.  You did your best to beat me but I conquered you... for the second time.

And now I'm going to go ice my knees!


jamie said...

nice job jo! and i'm happy to say we did that half marathon TOGETHER! :) love ya

Ed said...

OK - I like that "two fingers up" thing you did ... so much that I am going to send you a comparative shot of Father-Daughter doing the "two-finger-thingie" in the same week on opposite sides of the world.

I finally figured out why I can't quit on living, and just don't want to admit that I am getting older.

This spunky little tortoise keeps chasing me up, farther up and farther in!

Kelli B said...

I am proud of you for completing the climb friend! It is always, ALWAYS worth the pain in the end, when you stand on that mountain top. Such a huge life lesson that's lingered with me over the years since Mt. Elbert and SMR.

PS I love mikey's gloves. Hee hee!

I love your stories and your honesty friend :)

kari said...

I climbed Mt.Fuji as well back in 2003! We did it throughout the night in the freezing, pouring down rain...the whole time! Luckily, the climb down was beautiful!!