Point & Click
This Monday, she’ll hike up to Electric Pass, like she likes to do every birthday. The pass tops out at 13,500 feet, and is quite a climb – 3,600 feet of climbing, to be precise. In all, it’s a 10-mile round trip from the Cathedral Lake trailhead northwest of Aspen to an unsurpassed view of mountains, sky and beauty, and back again.I’ve made this trek several times with her during other birthday celebrations. For her, the slog up and the pounding march down is the ultimate birthday present. That’s because, besides the grandeur of such a walk, this hike is a testament to her well being. It’s a way for her to feel alive and part of the big picture. “She” is my mother, Jane. She’ll be 73 on July 24, and hiking to Electric Pass on her birthday isn’t the only feat that amazes me about her. I look at my mom and I thank the stars above that I came from such inspiring genes. This is a woman I skied with this past March – after which, I proudly told my friends that “My mother kicked my a–.” Jane has skied since the 1950s, and can go and go and go … even into her 70s. Stopping is not something Jane is prone to do. We took a bike trip in France a few years ago, and there she was again, cranking up some ridiculously steep country road somewhere in Burgundy. Neither of us is going to beat Lance Armstrong, but her tenacity and endurance is truly incredible. She works at it. Early to rise, she works out at an athletic club most days. She walks everywhere. Moss simply doesn’t gather under this woman. I inherited Mom’s low blood pressure, though I’m hoping I don’t inherit her cholesterol. She is probably one of the most careful eaters I have ever met – I don’t think I’ve ever seen her eat a candy bar, a pancake or a hot fudge sundae. But In one of life’s weird twists of fate, the woman who asks waiters at restaurants, “Is that a cream-based soup? Oh, it is? Oh, then no, thank you” has a cholesterol count that’s a bit high. Go figure. I look around and see people far younger than Mom who are far older because of their condition – both physically and mentally. I know my mom still has the aches and pains that come with aging, but she moves through them, and makes no excuses.So, Happy Birthday, Mom. Keep hiking above timberline and skiing without stopping. You’re an inspiration. Carrie Click is the editor and general manager of The Citizen Telegram. She is in training for her next hike with Mom. Carrie can be reached at 625-3245, ext. 101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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