Renovare The Renovaré Book Club is Underway! Learn More >

Purchase Links support Renovaré

SHARE
Facebook Twitter

Wisdom Chaser

Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet

by Nathan Foster

It began with a sim­ple question:

One day I found myself ask­ing my father across the chasm between us, Hey, Dad, you want to climb the high­est moun­tain in Colorado?’”

And for Nathan Fos­ter and his father Richard, that sim­ple ques­tion changed every­thing. With no hik­ing expe­ri­ence to draw on, they embarked on a jour­ney of phys­i­cal chal­lenge, dis­cov­er­ing just how far they could push them­selves. For Nathan a par­al­lel jour­ney took him inside himself.

Hav­ing grown up in the shad­ow of a famous father, Richard J. Fos­ter, author of Cel­e­bra­tion of Dis­ci­pline, Nathan had a lot of ques­tions about who his father real­ly was. Would hik­ing open the door for him to get to know this dis­tant figure?

As the one-time exper­i­ment evolved into a decade of chal­leng­ing hikes up Col­orado’s 14,000-foot peaks, the Four­teen­ers, Nathan nav­i­gat­ed his twen­ties — fin­ish­ing col­lege, choos­ing a career, a pos­si­ble cross-coun­try move, the ear­ly years of mar­riage and a major per­son­al cri­sis. Along the way he would dis­cov­er exact­ly what his father could offer him. Inter­Var­si­ty Press, soft­cov­er, 185 pages.

2010

Recommendations

In this deeply engag­ing, con­spic­u­ous­ly unpol­ished chron­i­cle of a decade of moun­taineer­ing adven­tures with his father, the son of a famous father explores not only the phys­i­cal ter­rain of the Col­orado Rock­ies but also the emo­tion­al and spir­i­tu­al ter­rain of their evolv­ing rela­tion­ship as the two test them­selves. An assis­tant pro­fes­sor of social work at Michi­gan’s Spring Arbor Uni­ver­si­ty, the writer is the son of Richard Fos­ter, a lumi­nary among con­tem­po­rary writ­ers on Chris­t­ian spir­i­tu­al­i­ty. The lit­tle I knew about my father I did­n’t much like, he writes near the book’s begin­ning. An unspar­ing and even some­times awk­ward nar­ra­tive of the writer’s deep­en­ing self-knowl­edge as he con­fronts the wounds of his child­hood, the book also describes his deep­en­ing friend­ship with his father as they expe­ri­ence climb­ing suc­cess, fail­ure, and some pret­ty ter­ri­fy­ing close calls in unfor­giv­ing moun­tain pass­es. This gem of a book should appeal not only to Richard Fos­ter fans but to a much wider pool of read­ers who will be grate­ful for its insights, humil­i­ty, and tenderness.
Publishers Weekly

About the Author