I discovered from a TV documentary last night that Himalayan Sherpas have the densest network of blood vessels of any humans on the planet.
Makes sense, of course — the air is thin in that part of the world, and maxing out on Oxygen is as much of a premium for those guys as is snorting steroids for bodybuilding types.
But here’s the thing.
Some of these triply-lunged ubermetabolisers help out on Everest climbs, working with mountaineers to find the best and safest way forward to the summit.
Just past the 5000' Base Camp, a live glacier spills its Gin & Tonic crush of ice down the slope at 80m per year. (Or maybe Base Camp is at 80m and the glacier is a real whizzer — I don’t recall exactly.)
It’s impossible to climb any higher until you’ve breached this wall of ice, unless you use a helicopter or something (and this is a no-no for most hardy climber guys).
So the Sherpas navigate safe passage through the ice with the aid of ropes and ladders (along with the whole highly evolved cardiovascular shebang).
The ice shifts constantly, and blocks of glistening white the size of buildings tumble down the frozen scree with the regularity of serial masturbators dropping their boxers.
There are avalanches, crevices, impossibly unnavigable cliff faces, and the terrain morphs from week to week like plasticine Wallace and Gromits thrown into a kiln.
All the Sherpas have is their lungs and their wits, plus no small amount of courage.
The terrain they bravely explore is both known to them — and wholly unknown.
They know precisely what dangers they will encounter, but they never know what to expect.
So, writers, next time you’re complaining about writer’s block, and weepy no-sleepying about your inability to chop a few tiny crevices into the imposing white cliff face of your WIP,
Take a deep breath, and take a single step forward, one word at a time
Go fuck yourself.