Climbing to inspiration in Nepal



Gbenga Akinnagbe, who plays Chris Partlow in The Wire, has just published a travel piece in The New York Times on his journey through the Annapurna Circuit to climb Thorong La (17,769 feet).

It’s a great read, and includes such amusingly (on reflection) discoveries as the water bottle conundrum: “Sitting down for a break, I pulled out a one-liter bottle of water wedged in the webbing of my backpack. Frozen solid. I could not believe it. But then again, I could.”

Or the cold, hard truth about the last push to the summit: “Whenever I was short of breath, I hyperventilated and I slowed even more. I felt like the dying son of Krypton, desperately waiting the return of the Earth’s sun to give me my strength back. Adding to my distress, Tim and Diana teased me about my slow pace.”

But my favorite observation (spoiler alert) is his discovery upon reaching the top: “For the longest time, competition was the engine that allowed me to succeed. It was a loud engine, however, and my mind was always running. But at that moment, I felt a stillness and peace, and I realized that those could be a more powerful inspiration.”

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