Sunday, October 4, 2015

Kids These Days 59

I am a dream killer. I know this about myself. Well, dream killer may be too strong of a term. Hope slayer. Wish smasher. Goal crusher. Those sound nicer. I saw this story a little bit ago of this 11 year old kid named Tyler Armstrong that plans on climbing Mt. Everest. I heard this and thought his parents hated him. Why would you let your kid do some shit like this?

Yeah, he's set some other records in the past (climbed Mount Whitney in a day when he was 8, he was the second youngest person to make it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at 9, he was the youngest to do Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, and in August Mount Elbrus in Russia). But its fucking Mt. Everest. This isn't something that will be done over the weekend. He will have to be there for over a month in conditions made to kill humans. “I'm really excited that I can actually go to Mount Everest, experience the mountain and get to the summit” Yeah. And I was excited about sex until I had it.

He is raising money and awareness for a genetic disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy which is nice. But still. No. He saw a boy with it while hiking one day and got inspired. He has raised about $25,000 so far for research. Research is bullshit. Have we cured ALS yet? They raised a shit ton for that. So he has raised 25 grand for this disease and his trip to Mt. Everest is going to cost $160,000. That's a lot to pay to almost die. His father Kevin is going to hike with him for as long as he can.

“If he wasn't so dedicated I don't think we would support him as much because it is a very expensive and time-consuming sport. He has shown so much motivation over the years.” His mother Priscilla was against the idea at first. “I decided that I didn't want to be the dream squelcher, and I didn't want him to become an adult that says 'I could've climbed Mount Everest, but my mom said I couldn't do it.'” Fuck that. Be the mother with the living child because you didn't let him go up Murder Mountain.

A lot of people have died climbing that shit. Not a dozen people. Not even three dozen. Hundreds of people have died climbing. 223 have been recorded. I doubt they count every Sherpa that kicks the ice bucket challenge up there. Winds that can reach 200mph. The ice. Avalanches. Theft. Yes, theft! People have been robbed climbing this thing! And the bodies. That place is littered with corpses! Google that shit! There was this interview with a guy named Jon Krakauer that had climbed and regrets it till this day and tried to talk Tyler out of it.

“Climbing Mount Everest was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. I wish I'd never gone. I suffered for years of PTSD, and still suffer from what happened. I'm glad I wrote a book about it. But, you know, if I could go back and relive my life, I would never have climbed Everest.” He added “It's a serious, serious choice. If you do it, if you go for it, you'll be making really important decisions where your brain isn't functioning because of hypoxia or you haven't had enough to eat. Meru is a much harder mountain to climb, but in some ways Everest is much more dangerous. The dangers are more insidious. They're not as obvious.”

Of course I have no power or sway over whether or not this kid does this climb. But as someone that has no children and no intentions on having children I am the best person to comment on how someone should raise theirs. And for anyone asking what I'm doing with my life right now the answer is: watching Fox NFL Sunday, writing this, a friend on Facebook, and going to a Van Halen concert later. 

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