As Lunchboy pointed out in a response to a recent Repman blog entitled ‘Crazy Bosses,’ I’m the first to admit that I’d fit neatly within the narcissist category. That’s one of five classifications of crazies bosses created by author Stanley Bing (the others being: disaster seeker, bully, wimp and paranoid, respectively).
So, it is with no redeeming value and no correlation to image or reputation whatsoever, that I now share a six-minute slideshow from my recent sojourn to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Mt. Elbrus in the Caucasus. Note: Chris Repman, Jr., Cody is sporting a black beard and I’m the one climbing in a red parka with pain etched across his face.
I’ve discovered that climbing parallels stand-up comedy (my other hobby) in one important way: you meet people you’d never otherwise come into contact with in this workaday world of ours. The Mt. Elbrus team consisted of a urologist, an HR director who’d just swum the English Channel, a 60-year-old retired millionaire who runs marathons for kicks, an entrepreneur who’d just climbed Mt. Everest, a husband-and-wife team of software developers from Seattle, an Iraqi war veteran just back after four years in Baghdad, a former Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and our guide, Vern, who has climbed the Seven Summits nine, count ‘em, nine times (that simultaneously makes him the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of mountaineering).
I’ve found that mountain climbing clears my mind better than any stint on a beach possibly could, because it involves some risk of danger and loads of concentration and forces out any and all extraneous thoughts (i.e. the prospect who doesn’t return your calls, the client who’s decided to put the account up for review or the trade editor who refuses to understand your POV on the inequality of industry awards’ competitions). Yes, Virginia, mountaineering does all that for me.
I’ve done Kilimanjaro and, now, Elbrus (even if an injury did force me to pull up 500 feet short of the summit). Chris and I are now contemplating Aconcagua in the early winter. Crazy? Perhaps. Rewarding? Definitely. Narcissistic? Hey, I warned you.