Several years ago during a stay in Switzerland, I was invited by...

Several years ago during a stay in Switzerland, I was invited by a good friend to spend the weekend at his parent's chalet in the mountains and to go hiking with him and two other friends. Since I love being in the mountains and hiking, I accepted eagerly, envisioning broad mountain paths with no steeper grade than a gently ascending highway.

From the beginning of our hike, however, the actual situation was quite different and came as a real shock to me. My three companions, all quite a bit younger than I and with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, set a pace that literally took my breath away. After only thirty minutes of our all-day hike, I was already constantly behind and slowing the others down for frequent rest periods. Before the first hour had passed, my heart was pounding, I was short of breath, and I was considering giving up and turning back.

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March 29, 1982
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