Yosemite is so freaking beautiful. Every time I go there, I don’t just take a photo of the waterfalls, the stands of sequoias, or all the beautiful, must-see hikes in the national park, I just go and take a selfie. So I figured it was a fitting fit to climb El Capitan to celebrate reaching the age of 70.
After celebrating my birthday the day before, the alarm went off about 5:30 a.m. I got ready in my robe and cardigan and as the sun came up, I got on the 2,425-foot mountain in a matter of minutes, got on the rock face with my cellphone in my hand, and started the climb.
I got to the top before 8 a.m. One of the best parts of the climb was thinking of the song “I’ll be there for you” by Richie Havens. I love the song. It really embodies what it’s like to be a student in love with this guy that you like so much, and it kind of says that there are people in the world who may not understand you, but will be there for you in the end.
I am friends with a huge chunk of my mountain climbing buddies who all come from various backgrounds of being passionate about their professions and committing to becoming the best at what they do. We have all had our ups and downs when things have not gone the way we wanted them to — especially when you are climbing the hardest and highest, most unforgiving routes — but I think that balance is really important.
And for me, being seven years younger, I can take it all in and appreciate the beautiful and immense experiences I am having at 70 years old. I am still enjoying all the things I did in life, and I am amazed that I am 70 today.