I was once asked if I wanted to climb Mount Shasta a certain weekend. Shasta is a 14 hour drive from Tacoma where I lived, and I couldn’t take Friday or Monday off. Shasta would take two days, so it would mean driving for a total of 28 hours and climbing the mountain, then showing back up at my office parking lot at 3am Monday morning, just in time to sleep for two hours before showing up to Army Physical Training unshowered and unkept. Anyone in their right mind would have said no. But thankfully, as so many bad decisions are made, I had a little too much to drink in a bar and said YES.
I fellas I met on that trip are lifelong friends. I had a spur of the moment trip to Mexico with one. Another invited me to Argentina to climb Aconcagua with him, one of the Seven Summits. In turn, he accompanied my group of friends to Denali, another of the Seven Summits. You grow quite close to a fellow during a two week expedition. If I had never said YES when by all rights I should have said no, I never would have had these experiences.
A few weeks ago, Melody Hazi invited me to to join her team for the return of Primal Quest, a multiday Adventure Race across the Tahoe backcountry. I met Melody in the dark one morning as we all loaded a bus for the Red Rock Trail Marathon. She was a kindred adventurous soul who got out and after big goals as much as I did. I knew if she was going after the podium at Tahoe Primal Quest, she was serious about it. I had to say YES.
Who knows where this challenge will lead, but I’m pumped for it. The course covers 500 miles of beautiful Sierra scenery, involves disciplines such as mountain biking, trail running, kayaking, paddle boarding, and rock climbing. Teams of four stick together the entire time to decide where to navigate and when to sleep. It’s quite a bigger production than I am accustomed to with my simplistic trail running background, but let’s see where this leads. I’ve considered myself an all mountain athlete, so it’s time to put it to the test.
Life is more exciting when you say YES.