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The Climb

As I write the inaugural post for The Americanist Diversion, I am watching Stage 15 of the Tour de France; specifically, the climb up Mont Ventoux. I am required to multitask in July since a yearly ritual of mine is to watch the race in its entirety, and sadly, no other responsibilities subside. (This is a light season. Things get crazy when the FIFA World Cup or Olympics are in full stride.) As I watch the agony of the cyclists, I cannot help but consider the connection to the metaphorical climb that I will begin in a few weeks: the pursuit of a Ph.D. I am sure some aspect of the physical climb up Mont Ventoux has all sorts of relevant allegorical language for the academic quest of a graduate student. I promise to avoid the too-easy “Little Engine That Could” references in order to explain the slight anxiety I feel toward the coming months. I will veer dangerously close, though. Did Chris Froome nervously await Le Tour, only to blow us away by the performance of his climb?
To reach for a mash-up of bad analogies, I am standing at the edge of the future, ready to jump. The door to the future will soon open and there will be no turning back! I am ready to climb that mountain …or anything else you would like to insert from an inspiring 1980’s hair band ballad.
This blog is an effort to be mindful of this journey. Time passes so quickly without taking a moment to breathe. While I let this happen too often during my master’s coursework, I refuse to let this habit rise again. Let us strive for balance, fullness, and awareness. The discomfort may seem unbearable in the future, yet like Froome’s ascent to the top of Ventoux, the result is worth it – and the journey there was darn interesting.

Tour de France 2013: Chris Froome wins stage 15 – video highlights

Chris Froome rides to victory on Mont Ventoux. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Chris Froome rides to victory on Mont Ventoux. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images


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