Where Am I?
Where am I may sound like a ridiculous question to ask. Of course I am right here in New Jersey. Where else would I be? But you see it’s not that simple. As in the words of Bono from U2 in the song “Walk On”, I am going to a place where none of us has been. By that I mean, a frame of mind one must be in to accomplish what I am getting ready to accomplish. To answer “The Call” which Enzo sent out almost a year ago to me, one must put themselves in a place of belief that this phenomenal experience that I have been handed is something that can be accomplished. There are so many emotions to prepare yourself along with the physical conditioning of your body. Your faith in yourself, the trust in your teammates, the support from everyone around you, all have to come into play. I train in the martial arts and there is a term in Korean that we practice on a daily basis and it is “Moo Shim”, which is “Empty Mind”. You train your mind to block out all negativity around you in order to accomplish things. You discipline yourself to going after things without hesitation. This doesn’t mean you never think about anything, it means you persevere and you push and you let your inner strength guide you. I have been doing this. This is where I am.
I am home raising three growing boys. I am getting my youngest prepared physically and mentally for his second degree rank of Black Belt in karate. I am setting things up for my middle son to get prepared for the upcoming baseball season. And I am helping my oldest find a job and stay focused and on track with football even though it is off season. I am also working, running a household. But most importantly, I am training. Training in the gym or training in karate or just training my mind to be prepared for climbing Mt. Hood in July. I have a ton of questions that run through my mind. You may think fear plays a role but it doesn’t. It should since I have never climbed a mountain before. But I have an amazing role model, someone who believes in me and calls me “the strong one”. This would be Enzo. From the time he asked me to do this my life has changed. My outlook has changed. My personality has changed. Even my looks have changed. It is because I have thrown myself in a place of total faith in myself and total belief in why I am doing this. “If God brought me to it, He will get me through it”. And my “angel” above, my mother, is waiting for me at the top, so I can reach up my hand into the clouds and touch hers, if only for a second in my mind, but to be remembered for the rest of my life.
This all sounds like something that is unbelievable, right? But this is where I am in my journey to climb Mt. Hood. I hope in my heart that cures are discovered from our efforts and to prove, if even only to one, that anything you want in life you can do it. I am really a “regular” person. Not someone that wants the glory of the accomplishment but the satisfaction of the journey and the chance to say that I have made a difference and I will have the ones I love that carry with them the burden of these diseases everyday, to be cured. To ensure my own children will never have to face this in there life or that I won’t even be stricken. Maybe, just maybe this will happen. My intuition and my faith is strong. I have already reached the top. Now it lies in the hands of the ones who can truly make a medical breakthrough in these diseases and help the millions who suffer. I will continue my journey long after I climb Mt. Hood. I will continue to do other things to draw awareness to Alzheimer;s and Parkinson’s. But for now my focus is on the mountain. To reach the top, to draw awareness, to raise funds, to show that with combined efforts of everyone we can and will make a differnce. To be continued.
Eileen - The Regulars - ’08