Carole Fuchs : Professional Alpinist, Trail-runner and Triathlete
Carole reached the summit of Mt Everest on 20th May 2018.
Not long afterwards, she came to my clinic for some treatment. I was really impressed by her, not just by her extraordinary physical condition, but also by her cheerful smile.
I would like to introduce her and tell you a little bit about who she is, what she did, how she felt during her challenging experiences and what she is going to do from now.
In her online profile it says,
She is an endurance athlete, professional triathlete and trail-runner specialized in ultra-long distance, and has been a life time alpinist who has recently succeeded in climbing a very technical peak Ama Dablam Peak (6812m) alone and Manasul Peak (8163m) in Nepal.
What I sensed from this top athlete’s body during our treatment session
I met Carole for the first time this February, before her Everest challenge. When I treated her then, I found that her muscles and tissue are very flexible and energetic, exactly what I would expect from a top-level athlete in peak condition.
I could see that her parents gave her the gift of great natural physical ability and that she has spent her life making an unflagging effort to know herself and nature, and to develop her full potential.
I can definitely say that she embodies the ideal of a healthy mind in a healthy body.
During a treatment session, I can sometimes intuitively feel the correlation between my patient’s body and mind, and also the interconnection between his or her physical condition and personality.
How one lives is reflected in their muscle tension, and their reaction to my touch mirrors how they face the phenomena they encounter in their daily life.
Through my session with Carole, I got the impression that she accepts the fluctuations (up-down/good-bad) she has encountered at every stage of her life and has made the choice to enjoy every aspect of them.
Going Above 8,000m , beyond human limits
Carole tried to climb to the summit of Mt Everest, the highest point on earth, without the use of oxygen tanks; one of the most physically difficult things an alpinist can attempt. She told me about her thoughts and impressions during this extreme challenge.
She said that, “because of the lack of oxygen at extremely high altitudes, the desire to keep alive is slightly reduced.” Although she was well-prepared and took enough time to adjust to the high altitudes, her cognitive function distorted and her brain did not function normally in this place which was just at the line between death and life.
“Coming back alive is more important than reaching the top of the Everest,” she said. “Even if I did not reach the summit, I could still learn a lot from this experience. Life is an exploration.” These words touched me deeply, although it was quite a common phrase, because she herself had this experience which took her far beyond our normal human limits.
She then told me what her honest impression was of Mt Everest, on the way back down just after her great achievement. “I did not meet her [Mt. Everest] as my true self, but with the use of supplementary oxygen. When I looked back up at the top of summit on my way back, I swore that I would come back again to meet her as my true self.”
Coming back to normal life after such an adventure might have been boring for Carole. But I think that not only climbing the highest mountains, but also running through in nature and even training in the city inspires her as well in her life quest.
She plans to keep on going as a professional athlete with her trail running and ultra-marathons, and to climb all 14 of the highest mountains in the world.
As she left our session, my parting words to her were, “ Every time you come to Japan, I will be one of your supporters. Cheers, Carole!”
Photos and personal details courtesy of Carole Fuchs.