That's how much we've raised thus far for the Wounded Warriors Project. I say "we," but John's done the heavy lifting. John has about three weeks left to get to his goal of 290 pounds, losing 40 pounds. I'd like to challenge John to shoot for 43 pounds...which would raise a total of $1,000 for WWP. That'd be something you could feel good about for a long time.
Oh, and thanks to the privacy-invasion tool that is facebook, I was able to find this photo of John from back in the day:
Anyhow, here's what John has to say about this week:
"Everest is a matter of universal of human endeavor, a cause from which there is no withdrawl, whatever loses it may demand" - G.O. Dyrenfurth
After climbing Mount Everest, Edmond Hillary is claimed to have said, “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Coming into this week I had to figure out a way to revitalize the plan. I hadn’t lost much weight lately; at least, not in the way that I had about a month ago... And though it was expected, I never thought it would be as hard to lose more. But lo and behold, I sit at 299, a one pound drop from the week before. A simple full water bottle emptied into my belly and I would be back to square one and where I was last week. Still, looking at a documentary last night of how Hillary struggled to the top of the mountain, overcoming obstacles that seem simple but were daunting at 23,000 feet, I was reminded that this challenge is like the mountain climb.
When I first started this endeavor, the first few weeks and days were simple hikes. I could travel several feet up the proverbial mountain with ease. The task was simpler then. The base of the mountain is always the easiest, the flattest, and closer to the home. Then, through March there were setbacks… a plateau or sorts. There, I set up base camp and planned the next stage of the scale up the mountain. Looking up to where I needed to go, I honestly could not see the top of the mountain. Doubts creeped in knowing that the next steps were precarious, and the odds were that I would not make it to the final goal. History tells me that it had not been done before, and many attempts failed... miserably.
The next push to get to the goal was harder. The more exercise attempted, the harder it was to breath. Though I was losing weight, it seemed that the weight that I counted on was also the source of my strength; My power and my identity as well. So each step forward, it seemed as if the mountain was tilting farther and farther upward.
I’m now at base camp number two. It is the last before I make the final push toward the summit of this challenge. Within the next few days, I have to do things that are going to hurt, and things that will fill my head with doubts that I can reach 290 (or beyond). But with the right equipment, some deep breaths, encouragement, and a will to get to the top of the mountain, the goal is achievable. I’ll be riding every day, rain or shine. I’ll be completing the week with a long ride to ensure that I do whatever possible to make this challenge. I’ll put myself on the strict diet I started this journey with; no more cheating justifications, or a little extra here and there.
It is time to address the hardest part of the profile. This is where the discipline comes to bare. This is where all that you have done in the base camp proves itself. This, "where the air is thin and few dare to endure", is where the challenge comes with the the greatest effort. Every step is labored. But every step is a forward movement toward the goal. There will be pitfalls, but I must avoid them if the final glory is to be achieved. I can’t look back. I can’t look down. My eye on the prize is all.
I need Nine pounds of weight to shed before I can stand on top of the mountain. Nine pounds before I can say that I’ve conquered this mountain, this challenge, this diet, this plan. Nine pounds before I have conquered myself.
Then, the challenge to come is to not tumble back down the hill.
"Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others...it rises from your heart." - Junko Tabei-1975 after becoming first woman to climb Everest