a Mountain Climber

My name is Mark. I am a data architect, or a data scientist, depending on what kind of job I want, or how much money you are offering.  I also climb mountains. Not rock climbing, I climb big scary mountains, like Mount Everest. LIKE. Makes me sound like a young stud right? Nope. Sorry.  I’m 62, soon to be 63.  In previous lives I was a swimmer and a sail boat racer.  I live in some sort of weird world of denial, wondering when, or if, the day will come when I can’t physically do what I want to do.

My wife is a six foot tall blond immortal. She is a trainer. (of course she is) She looks like she’s 34. She says she’s 54. I don’t believe her. The woman doesn’t age. The most important piece of emergency equipment a mountain climber needs on a climbing expedition, is a woman.  My wife is the ultimate anti-testosterone “you are about to do something really stupid”, warning system.  I’m not going to die on a mountain.

I have a daughter who is 24.  She went to college as a dancer. Everybody said, “So she’s going to spend her life teaching dance to kids?” Followed by, “She’ll never make it as a professional dancer.”  Who does, right? It’s like saying you are going to be an actor, or a professional athlete. It doesn’t happen. Just buy a lottery ticket.  Long story short, I hit the lotto, my daughter is now a professional athlete, she dances for a company in Seattle, which is a two-fer, since she is also a climber, and Seattle is MECCA if you are a climber.  I can fly to Seattle, watch her perform, and then, as a drive by, we can climb something awesome.

I started this blog because I ruptured my Achilles Tendon and then had surgery to repair it.

Was this it?  Was this the moment when I would no longer be able to do what I wanted?

My rehab has been so weirdly unusual, that I decided to share my experience, and maybe discover if there is anybody out there with a similar experience.

{I’m now at 7 months post-op and (drum roll here) I’m back climbing. You can look at my individual posts, where I listed all the secrets I used to get through the surgery and the recovery as rapidly as possible. I’m old. I did it. You can too.

4 Responses to “a Mountain Climber”

  1. Hey Mark, this is definitely not the moment when you won’t be able to do what you want to do! You’ll be climbing with your daughter in no time! It sounds like the doctors have done an excellent job with your FHL transfer and that you’re making an excellent recovery and you’re certainly very determined to stay active. Good luck and keep us posted!

  2. Mark, this is fucking great, an honest take on ATR and recovery. Wish i had your stamina, even though i’m just short of half your age. I”m in the boot at present, 22 days since full rupture, and i’m a non-op.

    can’t wait to be in the pool at week 6 and then hit the sauna, haven’t done ice at all but again i don’t get swelling and i have good circulation.

    thank you for sharing your story, i think we may have found superman!


  3. No, definitely not superman, more like … what? Maybe the power of denial, and a willingness to subject yourself to ridiculous levels of pain.

  4. Hi, Mark! I am now 8 months post rupture, and doing well with life, though now it is my wife who is recovering from foot surgery. Of course, she isn’t making all the mistakes I made. :-)

    Now for a different question: I am applying for a MacArthur grant. I could really use a real data scientist/architect. Could we get in contact? My email is manperez@yahoo.com.

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