[images from teameverestthemovie.com]
Last night I watched the most remarkable documentary, about a team of people with serious disabilities - five in wheelchairs, other challenges, including a man a prosthetic leg - who, with a team of Sherpas and support people, trekked for 21 days through the Himalayas. It is called Team Everest, A Himalayan Journey. There is spectacular footage of the beauty of that harsh and rugged landscape. It was wonderful to watch, as a part of my heart belongs in the Himalayas. (With my karma, I expect I'd be one of the Sherpas, carrying a body larger than my own up a steep cliff, hee hee! I so relate!)
The people with disabilities made the trek to fulfil their dreams, and to prove that their disabilities could not prevent them from reaching the heights: "No limits!" I was amazed as I watched their journey. They endured the most difficult circumstances any human being can encounter, life-threatening for trekkers in sound physical condition. And they achieved their goal, being the largest group of people with disabilities to reach Mount Everest Base Camp.
But it was the Sherpas whom I saw to be the real heroes, for they pushed, pulled and dragged the trekkers, and often carried them on their backs, for the entire expedition. I watched in astonishment as a small Sherpa bent his back, while on the woven basket attached to his forehead, a heavy North American body, sometimes still in his wheelchair, was loaded onto him. He would carry the person for about twenty minutes, and then another Sherpa would take his place.
The terrain was rough, rocky and difficult, even in the villages they passed through. Not one inch of the journey was easy. Often there was slippery oozing mud, sometimes ice. And, always, the next footstep was onto rough, unstable and shifting terrain where at any moment any one of them might fall onto hard rock or even over the edge of a precipice, and vanish forever.
It is one of the most incredible journeys I have ever witnessed. I cannot imagine it. My favorite scene is at the end, when the group reaches base camp, against all odds, and the Sherpas joyously break into song and dance inside the communal tent.
Human beings are amazing creatures. This journey certainly made walking through a Canadian winter, in my comfy trailer, with heat, running water, and comfort at every turn, feel like a walk in the park:)