Lila Valentine Norton

A new addition, a new Everest…

Some of you may have noticed that my posts the last three weeks have been less-regular than usual.

And, for good reason…On July 30, my wife, Wende, and I embarked on the journey of a lifetime, a new Everest which promises to be far more joyful (and challenging and expensive!) than any I’ve climbed before: the birth of our first child, Lila.

A few weeks back, I spoke to the Max New York Life agents in Denver. Before my keynote, the head of Max New York Life (India), Gary Bennett, gave an inspiring and passionate talk which ended with a remarkable poem by Rudyard Kipling. It is an amazing, motivating piece, and one which we should all read and re-read, reminding us everyday of that which is important in life.

It has been front and center in my mind since little Lila came into our lives, and will soon hang on her wall to inspire her to live life fully, to embrace each day, keep her chin up and see that indeed, all clouds have silver linings and nothing worthwhile comes without some challenge.

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a
[wo]Man, my [daughter] son!
    – Rudyard Kipling, IF
– From Rewards & Fairies, 1909

Jake Norton
is an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational
speaker from Colorado.

  1. DSD
    DSDAugust 22,07

    Congratulations to you both Jake & Wende!
    Lila is just beautiful!
    She is very lucky to have parents such as you and that quote will become a credo to live by…
    I would love to paint and send off a Summit Stone as a little touchstone gift for you all. (Send me an email at mine above Jake with your office address)
    (I’m sure you would also enjoy the quotes in the Adventure Muse too.)
    In the midst of all of our adventures; what a great post this is!
    All the very best,

  2. The Adventurist
    The AdventuristAugust 22,07

    Hey Jake,

    Nice little secret you were keeping..

    Congrats my friend, and to your wife as well. There is nothing more rewarding than Life itself..

    Enjoy the new adventure..she is beautiful and am sure she will be well taken care of.


  3. phil summers
    phil summersAugust 23,07

    Warm wishes to you and your family Jake at this special time for you.

    Take a moment to savour the experience in the (few) quiet times if you can.
    What impresses me is that you’ve managed to happily post new Everest material here whilst sorting out the stesses of impending parenthood. What an iron constitution!.

    I wish you and your family well….(enjoy your sleep while you can) (wink).


  4. Derek
    DerekSeptember 6,07

    Congratulations Wende and Jake! Good luck with your new climb…

  5. Jackpot
    JackpotJuly 4,19

    Thanks for share this information.

Leave a Reply