Monday, July 17, 2017

"Weren't you the guy who saved his...

Wife by performing CPR on her, after she got struck by lightning?" 

I asked this question to Nelson, a stranger to me up to that awkward introduction.

His humble response, "Yes, that was me." 

This scenario played out thirty-seven years ago in Fort Collins, Colorado. We've been acquaintances turned beer and backpacking buddies ever since. Nelson now makes up the better half of the "100% Kosher Sub-Eleven Foot Adventure Team." I'm the other half.

Besides being short in stature, we share a few other common traits. We both have a deep love for wild places, especially mountains. Freud's conjecture would be we are making up for our lack of inches by achieving peaks where we can finally look down upon others. Maybe so.

We sweat our way to the summits in hiking styles as antipodal as a tropical rain forest is to a Saharan desert. 

Nelson finesses his way up. He analyses the terrain and chooses the path of least resistance. I, on the other hand, take the direct approach. There's the top, go for it! Oftentimes, this isn't the wisest choice. I.E. false summits, exposing myself to more exposure and the possibility of a much longer and steeper tumble. Nelson is a ballet dancer, I'm a fullback. He's smarter. 

Nelson's wardrobe appears to be out the Activewear issue of a AARP magazine. He looks professional. His trousers and shirt sport perfect creases. (I think he hauls in a iron and board to look sharp.) He's clean! I buy my outdoor wear from Big 5 Sporting Goods, Walmart and Goodwill stores. It's a sloppy disheveled look. I guess it's me. 

Nelson's organized. He's a "place for everything and everything in it's place" type of guy. I'm the "there's some space, cram it in" sort of fella. That's why I can't find necessary gear and he can. 

Most of all, Nelson has many endearing qualities. 

He's a man of humility. He doesn't toot his own horn. His achievements have to be coaxed out of him. I now know he taken more than a few award winning photos. He's an artist of the shutter speed, aperture setting and tripod. I recently discovered he's summited Mera Peak (21,247') in the Himalayas without oxygen! 

 Most of all Nelson is a Mensch. From Merriam-Webster :  a person of integrity and honor. I try to be a Mensch. I estimate my batting average to be about .650. Nelson nails it at 1000. He consistently does the right thing. I wish I could be more like him. 

I'm honored he considers me a friend. 

Sometimes inspiration comes in small packages. 

For more posts about this interesting man, please check out:


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