Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Seven Summits

Looking at me, you'd never guess. I'm a climber. I don't write about it because I'm doing it in secret.

I'm doing the Seven Summits. Yesterday was a good day and I did Mt. Kilimanjaro, otherwise known as Sobey's, the grocery store down the street. Actually I prefaced grocery shopping with a trip to the pharmacy, so I could have counted this as one of the higher summits but since I started calling this climb Kilimanjaro I'm not changing now.

But with me a "good day" is relative. I've reached a tipping point where I have little muscle left to work with, and the ones I have must work very very hard to compensate. By the time I'd unloaded the groceries into the granny cart for the final ascent I felt as if I was going to throw up from the exertion. But the wind was very cold and was clawing at my ears so I pushed on toward the top.

The local wildlife (i.e. the cats) had every intention of bowling me over and escaping as I struggled the cart through the door, but Tony grabbed the baby and I pushed Smokey back inside with the cart. There really wasn't much, I hadn't even filled the cart. Tony unloaded most of it so I didn't have to bend over. My recently subluxated ribs have yet to completely settle and bending still hurts. But his help was appreciated because he's rowing the Atlantic in a fishing dory all alone this month, and he's got his hands full without unloading groceries from the granny cart.

I grabbed my "treat", a bottle of fruit-flavored no-cal carbonated water, and flopped into my rocking chair. I hurt from stem to stern which is mixing watery-dory metaphors with stony-mountainy ones but right now I don't give a… well, I won't be rude.

I've been having trouble standing for more than a few minutes so we're trying out the ready-made meals from Sobey's. They have a kitchen right in the middle of the store where they prepare a whole range of take-away foods, with pre-packaged dinners (your choice of roast beef/chicken/ham/turkey/or meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and veggies) or you can put together your own combo. They have all kinds of food, from sushi to pasta to Chinese to Polish to southern fried chicken. One combo is enough for two meals for me, and surprisingly enough this is costing us less than buying the fresh food, because it often spoils before I can cook it. I also buy a lot of fruit, some cheese, eggs, and yogurt, and the freezer is full if I feel like cooking.

So that was yesterday for me. Kilimanjaro conquered, or vice versa, I'm never sure which, but today I was laid low in base camp and my sum accomplishments have been;
1. pull my shrieking muscles out of bed
2. make coffee
3. turn on a loaded dishwasher
4. sit in my chair and rock

That's it. I've answered a few e-mails and written this. Big day… Now it's nearly midnight and I hate to go to bed, because I always wake up feeling terrible. The pain meds I take to be able to sleep have worn off by morning and it's agony to move, and it's agony to lie there. So you grit your teeth and get up because you know that the first 10 minutes are the worst. After that it will probably get better. Probably. And quite possibly there's a mountain waiting.

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