When Phil Bota says he’s on top of the world, he is one of a very select group which can say that and actually have been there.
The 23-year-old Red Deerian scaled the legendary Mt. Everest a little over a year ago and he says the month of May is bringing back a flood of memories after accomplishing a goal which was set and reached.
“I’m just so proud that we had said that we were planning on doing something and we carried through with it,” said Bota who spent three years training and sacrificing in order to get to the top of the world.
Bota was asked to be the guest speaker at the annual pasta dinner for the participants of the 14th annual Woody’s RV World marathon because his journey, obstacles and triumphs parallel those of many runners. Especially in the area of knowing you are facing such a monumental, physical task.
“I can say that I was definitely there and definitely wanted to give up so many times,” he commented on the connection climbers and runners have with goal setting and pushing your body to the limit. Bota recalled many times when the group reached a camp on the side of the mountain and he couldn’t feel his legs anymore but thoughts of people back home would spark his drive, giving him the energy to continue on.
He also referred to the conditions the group endured in reaching the summit, including sleeping on ice in a tent each night, wearing the same clothes each day, no shower and never seeing a toilet in about two months. But there was always something in the back of his mind which allowed him to get to the next camp and continue his pursuit of his goal, the same as a marathoner.
“Knowing when you get to the finish or you get to that top, it’s going to be the most amazing feeling you’ve felt, which it truly is,” he said. “You’re going to feel very good about yourself and you’ll never forget it.”
In spite of the obstacles faced when climbing Everest, Bota said he made sure he took the time to take in the view which a small percentage of the world has ever experienced and was glad he did.
“Looking around at where you are and being on that mountain and seeing all of the famous mountains surrounding you,” he said. “Just to be in that environment was pretty powerful in itself.”
His message, while directed at the marathoners, can be applied to any task a person might have in front of them, he said.
“Everyone’s got something, as cliche as it sounds, as their Everest and it’s their goal and when they reach it, it’s going to be the exact same feeling that I had making my way to that summit.”