I couldn't sleep last night and I didn't know what to do with myself so of course, like any other modern insomniac, I picked up my phone and started to scroll. I watched a bunch of mindless videos that I won't bore you with here but then stumbled across this National Geographic article, Elite Climbers to Blaze New Route up Everest.
I was initially interested in the article because climbing Mt. Everest falls somewhere between perform my own hysterectomy and have dinner with Ann Coulter, so I figured it was better to just be lazy and read about it.
The strange thing is, I was really drawn into the interview and fascinated why people have such polarizing opinions about the risks of mountain climbing. In reality only .001 percent of the population would even consider doing such a thing, yet most people want to chime in how it should or shouldn't be done.
What I discovered is that it's less about the activity and more about the intention. The intention of doing the thing that most people wouldn't.
I definitely recommend reading the article in its entirety here but I wanted to call out this exchange with one of the climbers....
There seems to be almost a backlash against risk taking. What is it about risk that seems to irritate certain people?
I don't know. Is it because it is just so far out of their own field of reference? But perhaps they don't think twice when they see someone stuffing their face with fast food and clogging up their arteries, even though that person, in some ways, is engaging in really risky behavior that is actually costing the taxpayer in terms of health care.
I think maybe some people don't see the value of an activity like climbing. To some extent, I agree, because there is no social value to climbing. We are not making the world a better place. This is a very selfish activity. The only person who really benefits from this is me. I am doing this for myself, and I try to be quite honest about that. In the end, we get to choose how we spend our time and this is how I choose to spend the next couple of months.
This got me thinking...while this climber may think that he's only doing it for himself, the exploration of his passion brought me this amazing video and insight behind the drive of a mountain climber. The passion behind his work enriched me and entertained me at 4am.
What is your selfish passion?