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Theres nothing quite like losing your ability to breathe to make you appreciate your lungs. This photo was taken right before I went on supplemental oxygen on Cho Oyu. I was so sick-maybe as sick as I’ve ever been. I knew I needed to descend to a lower altitude yet I was terrified that I wouldn’t even be able to walk myself down. I had no energy. At that point, I didn’t even care about the summit. I was in so much pain, all I wanted was to descend (I wanted my mommy), and as I fell in and out of periods of sleep, I kept dreaming about going home. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀After I got down to base camp and started recovering, I kept going over the details of how I got sick and where I went wrong. It went beyond learning from a mistake; I was dwelling on it, and wasting precious energy I could be using to recover. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I came to learn, it doesn’t matter how you got knocked down. It’s how you get back up. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m grateful I had such an awesome team to take care of me and help advise me. I thought I was going home-I’m glad they helped me see recovery was possible. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There will always be setbacks. It’s how you handle them that matters. You can give in to the overwhelming sense of hopelessness or you can rise up, stay positive and get back out there. Maybe it won’t happen right away-it might be years-but if you stay focused on the goal and play a long term game, it will happen.
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