On the brink of his 40th birthday, Garry Harrington hardly recognizes himself in photos. Once a collegiate athlete who loved hiking and running, he now finds even his dream job as a sportswriter has lost its luster. As his second marriage crumbles, he comes to the uncomfortable realization that something has to change before he loses himself entirely.
On the way up New Hampshire's Mount Monandock, he begins to feel it: the joy of climbing he remembers from his youth. Driven by a reclaimed passion, he tackles more and more challenging trails in increasingly far-flung locales, shedding the life he thought he wanted in pursuit of something more. As his quest takes him from the familiar peaks of New England to the foreign and the famous, including the subject of his childhood dreams, the Matterhorn, every heart-pounding slog gets easier, every summit feels free. Before long, he has racked up 1,000 ascents of Monadnock, climbed all 67 of the 14,000-footers in the Lower 48, followed by all of their state highpoints, becoming only the fifth person in history to join this elite group.
Harrington's path to self-discovery traces the peaks and valleys of life and loss, defying all conventions and expectations -- including his own -- and rarely leaving unanswered the question, "What if?"
Harrington is the author of "Chasing Summits: In Pursuit of High Places and an Unconventional Life."