Friday, January 4, 2008

Maximum Volume Yields Maximum Results


20 years ago my uncle Rick taught me how to climb. Little did he know he'd be setting me on a course that determined much of my life from that winter onward: how I'd treat my body; where I'd live; work I'd have (or not have.)

This year Rick turns 52 and true to form he'd set a stout "birthday challenge" for himself. He'd climb a total of 52 top-roped laps on Joshua Tree routes that he'd led, all within a day. Two weeks ago he pulled it off. While he may not have jaw-dropping power or the physique of a svelt gym rat, Rick pulls like a fiend. Fueled by an apple fritter, three Red Bulls, and a diet Pepsi he ticked 55 laps with an hour of high desert sunlight to spare.

The birthday challenge is just one of many standout achievements for the year. He also day-hiked all 14 of California's fourteen thousand foot peaks in a season, linked Mt. Baldy, San Grogonio, and San Jacinto in a day all the while holding down a more-than-fulltime gig as a chemist.

I only hope that I'll have as much drive and passion for the backcountry when I'm his age.

For more inspirations:

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