Several years ago three friends and I decided to spend the...

Several years ago three friends and I decided to spend the summer mountain climbing in the Alps. We trained every minute we could for months beforehand. We were preparing for a daily climbing minimum of eight to ten hours. We would carry not only our own heavy personal equipment but provisions and firewood as well.

Three weeks before we were due to leave, I woke one morning in extreme pain, unable to move. As a city employee, a medical examination was obligatory, so a doctor was called. He diagnosed the condition as a severe case of sciatica. A specialist confirmed this diagnosis and stated that, in my case, I would not be able to walk for at least three weeks, much less climb mountains, and that our plans would have to be canceled. He added that a recurrence of the sciatica would be inevitable, if I were to undertake mountain climbing.

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