Episode 3: Rim to Rim to Rim at Age 60…Starring Marie Miller Bird and Sue Markovitch

The Problem:

The problem addressed in this episode is compound. You have this fear of missing out (FOMO), but you’re afraid to try things. This fear may be age-based, ability-based, embarrassment-based, or fear of failure-based. Regardless of the reason, something is holding you back. Hopefully this episode will give you some mojo.

My brother-in-law’s brother-in-law is Anthony Mireles from Beaumont, Texas. Tony is 67-years-old, he’s a former Marine, and he’s a friendly guy. He’s a family favorite and he's an extreme athlete. He’s run countless marathons and ultra-marathons. He loves adventure and he has an incredible pain threshold. I’ve always admired Anthony.

About a year ago, I was pursuing one of his Facebook posts. He was recounting a recent adventure. There were images of him dirty and fatigued doing something darned impressive. In many of his posts he’s surrounded by fellow adventurers who look young, fit, and supportive. I thought, I need to be more like Tony. I need to go on an adventure. I want to meet and bond with like-minded people. I reached out to him with a private message. I quipped that I would love to join him on one of his endeavors. I had a classic case of FOMO—the adventure, the mastery, the comradery, I wanted that.

In September of 2021, Tony called to invite me on an epic fitness challenge with 6 of his friends. The Rim-2-Rim-2-Rim Hike in the Grand Canyon is 42 miles long with 11,000 feet of climbing. You start at the South Rim, walk down the South Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River and then you climb 6,000 feet up the North Kaibab Trail to the North Rim. Then you reverse course and end back where you started. Tony, however, was proposing doing this non-stop. Most R2R2R hikers sleep the night after making it to the North Rim before the return journey, but not Anthony’s band of brothers.

After a day of vacillating, I committed. A couple of days later, I bought my plane tickets. That was my Burn the Ships Moment. I spent the money so now I had to actually do this thing. During the last part of September and the first part of October, I walked, walked, and walked some more. But I had no confidence that my training was adequately preparing me. I was anxious. On Sunday morning October 16, 2021 at 5am, 6 Texans and 1 Ohioan ranging in age from 36 to 67 started walking down the South Kaibab Trail. At 10am the next day, I finished what I’d started 29 hours and 42 miles earlier. Here’s a link to my Facebook post if you’d like to see some great pictures and read the particulars.

But there are more characters to this story. After I posted my accomplishment on Facebook, I noticed that an old friend, Marie Miller Bird, and a new friend, Sue Markovitch, enthusiastically commented and mentioned that they too had done the R2R2R Hike. This podcast was fated!

In this episode Marie and Sue talk about their fascinating motivations for this epic quest. We also discuss our experiences during the hike and how this effort impacted us. These women have a wonderful story to tell. I desperately want to go on a future hiking adventure with them.

What you can do About it:

You have this fear of missing out (FOMO), but you’re afraid to try things. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Seize opportunities when they present themselves.
  2. Don’t let age hold you back.
  3. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back.
  4. Burn your ships!

End FOMO by simply taking action.