Monday, May 26, 2014

What I'm Reading - High Altitude

This is one of those books that The Atlas usually picks up to read (as I head to the craft section), it's the story of Mike Allsop - a true adventurer.

Mike is a pilot (who almost died in a plane crash), an Everest climber and a ultra-marathon runner. So he's pretty much everything I'm not - although he is a kiwi.

This book details some of the astounding things he has achieved in his life and the drive that it took him to get there. Mike is also a husband and a father of 3 children.

More than once during the book I thought about his wife Wendy, and actually I thought more about her than I did about him as I read. The courage and generosity she has to encourage Mike to do these kind of things when they have 3 children and it means she is holding down the fort, as well as (I imagine), saying her prayers he will come home safe.

The book is not about her and the premise is not to make people think about her achievements but I guess that is what is lovely about someone telling their story - the interpretation and the impact is in the hearer's ear.

I wasn't inspired to try the things Mike has done (heaven forbid - I am not keen on any of them!! and even more so now) but I was inspired by the kind of woman Wendy is - her selflessness, her ability to be sacrificial for the man she loves, her ability to be doing as much (in different ways) but to remain, largely unrecognised (although it must be said, Mike does praise her a lot). She is the inspiration for me in this story.

Mike's style is very kiwi and I'm not even really sure what that is or if I would have noticed it so much had we not being living in Australia for the last 5 months. Perhaps it's his turn of phrase, or the things he does, or his observations, whatever it is - I can tell he's a kiwi, a bloke and I think a bit of a larraken!

One thing that I adored about this book was the way people stepped in to Mike's life to assist him in achieving his goals. I can't get enough of people cheering another person on and this book is full of the goodness of people towards others. I also loved Mike's determination to succeed, Pain is only temporary, quitting is forever. I need more of that grit.

This is a book for the adventurous and for those that long to live right on the edge. It's a book about seeing a goal and going hard out until you realise it.

Details - Published by Allen and Unwin, available in Paperback $29.99, and ebook and is about to be released in a new paperback format for $24.99

love you more than reading on the edge without the imminent threat to life xxx