Disclaimer: If you're offended by talk of flatulence, you should have already stopped reading NOW!
It's been hard to get motivated to blog over the last few months. For a while I thought it was the sixty-hour workweeks (at a job I love BTW, but which is rapidly depleting me).
I thought I would get motivated again during the Christmas holidays, even though it didn't mean any time off. But our computer decided to crash, which proved extremely disheartening. I wrote, I posted, but my heart wasn't really in it.
Then we went on vacation, and I thought surely my writing mojo would re-appear. Inspired by the majestic views of the Alps, and the intake of O2 to the brain, I was convinced my writer's block would unblock. Alas, after downloading the new mobile Squarespace app and losing two consecutive posts and about five hours of figuring out how to upload pictures, I became more convinced than ever that my writing days were over.
And yesterday, when I posted my first blog post in about three weeks, I still doubted whether I should be considering blogging at all.
But then I got a few comments back regarding HAFS [sic] and I realized what was missing from my blog: information and enlightment.
I realized how selfish I'd been about making this blog all about me, ME, me.
I mean, for goodness sakes folks, people are out there suffering from gas, unawares of the perils of mountain climbing, and here I am talking about me, ME, me, over and over again, when I could actually be HELPING people out there.
What greater gift could I give than to let mountain climbers suffering from excruciating stomach cramps know that THEY ARE NOT ALONE????
And that's when everything came together. I finally knew why I'd been called to the blogosphere: to rid the world of guilt-ridden mountain farters.
Not that it's never been done; according to Wikipedia, my favorite source of erroneous information, NASA apparently did studies on high-altitude flatulence expulsion (HAFE) before sending astronauts into space, so great was their concern for astronauts parachuting to earth if the stench began to engulf their pod. Because we all know that farts have driven sane men to madness.
But as I started reading up on HAFE, all the information out there seemed so clinical, detached.
And I realized that I could actually be the voice out there for your regular, everyday middle-aged individual wondering "what the f@€£ is happening to my guts? I never toot, this is not ME! Seriously, I NEVER usually let one go in public. Why won't anyone believe me?????"
So here it is folks. HAFE "does" exist. It is a shameful, insidious, all-encompassing condition, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
If you are a sea-level dweller who is climbing to grander heights, chances are you will be affected. You might not feel it immediately; but there you'll be, in your mountain lodge at 1800 m, reclining in front of the firplace in a special-bought mountain-retreat negligee as the love of your life leans in for a kiss. You'll look each other deep in the eyes and realize that you want nothing more at this moment than to F....
It's hell, really it is, so humiliating.
HAFE brings you back to a primal existence, one in which the urge to toot overcomes the urge to mate. Kind of like the monkeys you see at the zoo. You find yourself in a situation where the pressure on the outside of your gut is reduced, hence encouraging the pressure inside your tummy to expel.
But no matter how embarrassing, you MUST remind yourself that it's pure physics, not a physical or moral failing.
Gas at high altitudes is NOT a misnomer. It is a FACT. Stop feeling guilty about it NOW.
So you left the table with a white lie saying you had to go wash your hands (there's no shame in escaping to the loo to fluff ...). So you encourage your hubby to turn the volume up high on CNN so you can toot at leisure while you write a quick e-mail to a friend. So you used your own gas as propulsion to get you down the slope; believe me, THOUSANDS of world-class skiers have done it before you.
If I can relieve one single person's pain through my blog today, I'll know my work here is done. Just don't let it ruin your life. If your hubby toots the chorus to Eidelweiss, don't let it rip your relationship apart. Appreciate his ability to turn something once thought shameful into something greater. Who knows, your relationship could actually grow from the experience.
Mountain dwellers really DO fart more. And yet they live wonderful, productive lives.
Just because we come from sea level, does it make us less capable?
"Turn a toot into a tune." That's my new motto. If you're climbing a mountain, why not make it yours?
PS. Farts make me laugh. Yeah, I am THAT immature ....
For more information on HAFE, feel free to drop me a line. You are not alone.