My Blog

Oh Brother, There Art Thou.

6.09.2010 | Motivation, My Blog

Check THIS out!!

Isn’t that freaking AWESOME?!  That’s my brother, Todd, standing in Tibet with Mt. Everest in the background. He just got back home yesterday after a 6-week trek through Tibet and Nepal.

Me? Jealous? Noooooooooooooooo…

I am SUCH a little sister!

Bratty Little Sister: Mooooooooooooooooooom! If Todd gets to go to Tibet, I want to go to Tibet!!

Mom: But you’re going to Tanzania!

Bratty Little Sister: BUT I WANNA’ GO TO TIBET!!   *stomps feet, crosses arms, sticks out bottom lip*

Mom: Oh for love of…

I’m pretty proud of my brother Todd for doing this. He totally inspires me. Before he left he wrote me an email about how he wasn’t sure what his trek was going to be like, or how he was going to do. He was a bit nervous as to how his body would react to the altitude, and wanted to be able to let me know ‘genetically’ what to expect when I climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Isn’t he nice? He went all the way to Tibet to see how I would fare in Tanzania. Awww…. he loves me! I’m so glad that we’ve grown out of the punch-each-other phase.

Anyway, in his pre-trip email, he recounted an anecdote about our old dog, Oreo. If you gave Oreo a piece of toast crust, she would happily eat it and then look to you for another. However, if you gave her an entire piece of toast (yes, we did this.  A lot.  We were kids!  You know what? Just… don’t ask…) she would stare at you wide-eyed with this big crunchy piece of bread in her mouth, then wander away slowly. You would then hear her start to whine. For the next 20 minutes or so, you could watch her as she wandered around the house, whining, drooling through the toast onto the carpet, looking for a place to ‘bury’ her treasure. By day’s end we could certainly expect to find the toast piece wedged between the couch cushions, or nosed under a blanket on someone’s bed (hopefully she had licked the peanut butter off first).  She never ate the thing, she just hid it!

Todd’s explanation of recounting this story as it related to our adventures was this:

When I look at the map of the world and note that we’re spanning most of Asia it gets more and more daunting thinking about it.  In reality, one foot in front of the other is the farthest horizon I need to think about.  Our trips are similar in this regard…  It seems impossible to do what we’re setting out to do, so stop thinking about that and just concentrate on taking one more step.  You can always take ONE more step.

I think we should keep Oreo in mind when we’re traveling or doing anything else that seems impossible:  We cannot possibly eat a whole piece of toast and we’ll look (whining) for a place to bury it.  But if someone takes it from us and (gives it to us to eat) piece by piece, well, then eating it was pretty easy in retrospect.

Remember Oreo and the Toast!

I think that has to be one of the best emails I have ever received in my life. Odd how a toast-burying dog can be motivational.

So, what I did was take a small part of Todd’s email, and made it a part of my journey. When he wrote, “You can always take ONE more step“, it really hit home for me. I took that small sentence, typed it out in big font, printed it off and had it laminated. It will be going with me on my climb. When I’m crying and snotting my way up Mt. Kilimanjaro in a few weeks, I’ll root through my backpack looking for kleenex, and I’ll come across this little laminated sentence. And maybe it’ll encourage me to just blow my nose, stand up, and take ONE more step. I can always take ONE more step.

I can do this. I just need to remember that sometimes I have to look at my feet and not at the peak.

Thanks Todd.

Thanks Oreo.




That’s a great thing to keep in mind. (And….we had a dog that did the same thing with pancakes. Yes….kids do stupid things with their dogs….)


Your big brother is Mr Wise!

Ok, I shall try NOT to romanticize this but in my little collection of memories of mountain climbing, he is absolutely right.

I went mountain climbing with some close friends when I was younger. How it ended up as a lone girl with a team of ALL physical training instructors in the army, I don’t know. (Yes, it’s called the stupidity of youth) I reckon we just finished school then and climbing mountains sound fun, you know. Train your perseverance, patience, change you, blah blah blah.

And I remembered no matter how many times we went, I’ll throw the same “tantrums” when I hve emptied my pockets of all Snickers bar. And no matter how many times I did that, this team of surrogate brothers will tell me. “Look at that tree up there! We’ll run up there and then take 5 then, ok?!?” (Believe me, it looked close but it was NOT close when you are all cramped up!)

And so this is how I remember Mountain Climbing. One tree at a time. One sprint at a time. And that’s why your brother’s very wise advice resonates in me.

The amazing thing about all this is, no matter how many times we went climbing mountains, no matter how many times I beg them to leave me somewhere and collect me on the journey back, we always do the victory dance together as a team – short of no person – at the summit. Every.Single.Time.

Though the memories is far from me now, but believe me, when you are finally up there at the top, the feeling is, as what Mastecard says, priceless.

Have a great many little steps! And don’t forget the Snicker bars! Really, it helps. 🙂


I am TOTALLY going to bring Snickers bars! Or maybe Eatmore bars… I’ll toss them both in the freezer and see which one is easier to eat. 🙂

One step, one tree, one sprint, one team, one summit.

Got it.


[…] Becky. As regular readers of this blog will know, Todd and Becky just returned from 6 weeks of hiking through Tibet and Nepal, where they were able to take a 19-day trek to Everest Base Camp. So of course I thought that […]