A song was playing on the radio as we drove into town this morning, with a refrain that went like this:
I would climb every mountain
I would swim every ocean
Just to be with you
Dude. Every mountain? Every ocean? I don’t know how to break this to you, but you’re going to be climbing and swimming all your life, which means you will never get any time to be with him/her/them. I mean, I have to say in all honesty that I feel it’s not possible, these things you’re saying you will do.
Let’s start with just the mountains. Do you even know how many mountains there are in the world? I sure don’t, but I’m pretty sure you can’t climb them all in one lifetime. I used to live in Colorado, where it was considered no small accomplishment to climb the 54 mountains known as The Fourteeners. Those were only the mountains that were fourteen thousand feet tall. There were lots more mountains in Colorado, but climbing those 54 mountains was considered a big deal. And that was just in Colorado. There were more mountains to the south of Colorado, and one hell of a lot more mountains to the north of Colorado. And there are mountains in California, and in Tennessee and Kentucky and Pennsylvania. And there are the Himalayas in Asia, and the Pyrenees in Europe. I mean, they go on and on and on.
And the oceans. Has anybody swum across even one ocean? I’ve heard of people swimming across the English Channel, which is 21 miles, and I think I remember somebody swam from Cuba to Florida, which is maybe 100 miles, but I’m pretty sure nobody has swum the 12,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. I’m pretty sure that would kill you. But let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that you announce you’re going to do it. Who’s going to believe you, really, much less wait the 143 days (with no stopping to eat or sleep) for you on the other side?
If you want to show somebody you love them by doing something really heroic, my suggestion is to at least set some realistic goals. Find one of those fundraisers where they climb the stairs of a really tall building. Or a 10k walk/run. Or, if you’re already in pretty good shape, sign up for an Iron Man. It doesn’t sound nearly as romantic, but at least there’s an end that somebody would believe you were going to reach.
But swim every ocean? C’mon. Nobody’s falling for that.