Jana Zunich: Mount Elbert

“Breathing at 10,000 feet is interesting enough without feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest and you are going to jump out of your skin or go crazy. As soon as I started the climb I had a panic attack — what the heck is an out of shape, overweight 56 year old woman doing with this pack of young, fit soldiers?

But, dammit, I made it. Not pretty. In fact , kinda ugly. But I made it to my goal. Mainly by remembering what Jeff had said the night before — reaching the summit is far more mental than physical, and that we had to remember to keep our minds right. After Chris slowed me way down, I said with every step — “am I OK right now?” The answer was always “yes.” In this very moment, I was OK. Hot, sweaty, breathing hard, but OK. And that’s the way I made it up there — one step at a time, one question at a time, one breath at a time.”