I grew up in a house on a hill. It was a somewhat steep street and the local high school was at the bottom of the hill. On the high school grounds, there were two tennis courts. They were reasonably nice asphalt courts with functional nets and tall fences all around. My friends and neighbors and I would spend time there in the evenings, on the weekend and during the summer when the high school kids left the courts vacant. It was an easy trip down the hill to the courts but the climb home after a few sets was exhausting.
We would play tennis for hours and hours, each of us never wanting to be the poor soul who accidentally hit a ball over the tall fence. Because, once a ball was outside the courts, it would roll down the street for several blocks before crossing a busy road. The farther the ball rolled from the courts, the more exhausting the return climb up the hill would be.
I dread the thought of climbing that hill at fifty years old so I’m all the more amazed by Tamae Watanabe, a 73-year-old Japanese woman who climbed to Mount Everest’s peak last Saturday. She climbed to Everest’s 29,035-foot-high summit from the northern side of the mountain in
Tibet on Saturday morning with four other climbers.
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