Friday, August 12, 2005


Milestones to the Apex

When my brother read the first couple posts on this blog he commented favorably on my ideas but warned me "not to beat myself up" on here. He was referring to the comment I made about being fat, and his advice was just what you would expect (and hope for) from a big brother who has made a life's work of being the guardian of my happiness. He is truly all a guy could ever hope for in a brother, and I love him very much, but I'm afraid that along the way I am going to have to beat myself up a bit from time to time. Without pain there can be no growth - that sort of thing. If I am going to view a journey to the apex as a three prong approach involving intellectual, spiritual and physical growth resulting in culmination then I need to make it very clear, right up front, that continued work on my physical health is probably the biggest challenge I face on this journey.

The picture above is of Pioneer Peak in Palmer, about 30 miles from where I'm typing. When I first drove to Alaska from Kentucky by way of Maine, the first time I saw Pioneer Peak I pulled my Subaru over to the side of the road, got out, and just gaped at what I thought was the most awe-inspiring sight I had seen in the long drive across North America. There is something about this mountain - it's symmetry, it's perfect "mountain shape" as it rises 6400 + feet above the ocean across the highway - that has captured my imagination ever since that day 17 years ago. To give you an idea of how special Pioneer Peak is, the man who spent two years of his life planning and executing a hiking trail up the backside of this mountain was awarded one of only twenty-seven National Trail Awards in 2004:(

Now it is possible to make the 18 mile round-trip hike to the summit: (

I consider this hike one of many essential sign posts along the way to the apex, and the hike simply cannot be accomplished unless I am fit and strong. To become more fit and strong, I am going to have to sometimes acknowlege where I am starting and how things are going - I have done well and lost some good weight and have a physical job but in round numbers I still need to lose 100 pounds. This is not beating myself up Bro - it is facing the issue head-on and doing something about it.

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