David Schulman will tell you that one thing often leads to another. His decision to go into law came from time spent on Capitol Hill after college.
"I had always admired the profession, but being involved in the legislative process was a good prelude to going to law school," he said. "I thought I might go back to Washington after law school, but Atlanta was a vibrant city, so I never looked back."
Schulman practices intellectual property and technology law at Greenberg Traurig, when he's not seeing the world from some of its highest peaks.
His decision to become a mountain climber grew gradually from his love of the outdoors, travel, hiking and exploring. Eventually, up was the direction he wanted to go.
Schulman has climbed to the summits of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (19,340 feet), Rainier in Washington state (14,411 feet), Elbrus in Russia (18,510 feet), Whitney in California (14,505 feet), Gran Paradiso in Italy (13,232 feet) and Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border (15,782 feet), so far.
How did you catch the mountain-climbing bug?
In 2004, I went on a four-day group excursion in the Andes, which are relatively steep. The second day we walked from 10,000 feet to 14,000 feet. We slept in tents at night and woke up at 4 a.m. in order to get to the top of Machu Picchu [Peru] at sunrise. It was the most amazing experience. After that I was hooked on combining travel with physically challenging experiences.
My next big trip was to Kilimanjaro in 2007. We took the long way up and spent nine days on the mountain. Technically it's a hike, but on summit day you go from 15,000 to 19,400 feet. It's rigorous and the top is the rim of a volcano. We slept in the crater that night, which was the most unique experience.
You can do that mountain in five days, but I wanted to enjoy the outdoors and scenery, which was unlike any I'd ever seen. After that I decided to attempt technical mountain climbing. It has proven to be a great way to combine my love of travel and different cultures, while setting my physical goals.
What mountain did you decide to tackle first?