Saturday, April 29, 2006

the long road ahead

While I was exercising on the stationary bike at the gym today, my thoughts drifted and my imagination brought me into another realm at one particular point. Though my body was sweaty and moving like that a gerbil on a spinning wheel, I imagined that I was hiking a few miles above the Earth's surface in the midst of the Himalayas of Nepal. Carrying a knapsack and wearing warm clothing because of the frigid temperatures of the high altitude, snow and rough, rocky terrain lay all around me as I hiked step by step, higher and higher up the mountain. And boy, the view was something special. It was sublime. Truly, something to behold. That view made the thousands and thousands of steps, beginning in the doctor's office a few years back, that I had taken to reach this hallowed point so well worth it. For as far as I could see, there were nothing but snow capped mountain tops and endless sky for I was indeed at the top of the world. Cancer, you're my bitch! I did it!

I'm keenly aware of why I probably romanticized about the Himalayas. Several days ago I caught the second-half of an engaging and beautifully produced program, "The Natural Wonders of the World," on the Travel Channel. I sat in front of the TV mesmerized by the awesomeness of the views from atop the world. While watching the program, I recalled the grand plans for my trip in 2007, which includes a stint in the Himalayan country of Nepal. (Let's just hope the promising political situation there normalizes for the benefit of the Nepalese people!)

Oh, how exciting and pleasant it was to imagine myself there atop the world, a little more than a year after cancer treatment. The feeling of triumph over cancer and indeed, the self-satisfaction of having achieved my dream finally. Man, there are few things like it.

My time in the Himalayas lasted no more than a few minutes. Suddenly, I was back on the stationary bike pedaling. There I was inside a large temperature controlled fitness room. TVs were suspended from its high white walls. About half-dozen people were busy working out on other machines. Everything seemed normal. The Himalayas seem mighty far away at the moment but I have taken the first step to get there. In time, I'll be there.

Credit for the photos goes to Eric: Eric's Travel Page


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