Hiking makes me compare it to living. The more you walk, climb and get tensed or bruised, the nearer you are to reaching the summit alive. More than a hobby as most people prefer it to be, I consider mountain climbing as a good example of survival of the fittest and of the bravest. It is an ultimate test of strength, endurance, resilience and character. Before reaching the last peak, also known as the summit, one must pass through different camps and other peaks, in short, various kinds of obstacles in the form of mountain trails.To survive, you fall seven times, you get up eight, as the famous line goes.
I have been introduced to hiking at the age of 22, dated December 8, 2013 at Mt. Batulao found in Nasugbu, Batangas. And I say, this is by far, the most daring adventure I’ve done in my whole life, even a lot more risky than traveling alone from Manila to the other side of the world; or from East to West coast. My first minor climb was a success, no doubt as I am writing my experience now. But before the winning moment, here are the three main points you may consider in conquering your climb:
1. Be prepared. As they say, preparation is almost everything.
Be ready. Pack your bag, as light as possible and bring only the most important tools of survival: water, food, a of extra clothes and most importantly your faith that everything’s going to be fine and enjoyable. Let go of any baggage and just focus on the awesome climbing experience.
2. Take one step at a time.
Baby steps are still considered as steps, than none at all. I have been part of a hiking group so it was difficult to take my time since I needed to keep up with the team. However, you’ll get so tired that you’d wish to fly to the summit instead. Take baby steps, most especially when you’re getting nearer to the summit. “Kapit lang,” I remembered the guide telling us. And when the time comes that you get so frustrated and exhausted, enjoy the beautiful view God has made for your eyes. Take great pictures, smell the wonders of nature and feel your closeness to the sky. When you enjoy each little step, you’ll never realize that you’re getting nearer to reaching your destination and achieving your goal. After all it’s not the arrival that matters but the experience.
3. Don’t look back/down.
The struggle will always be part of the story. I have underestimated the idea of my first climb. I realized that you’ll value life even more when you’re getting nearer and nearer to the highest peak. There had been specific times when I got overwhelmed with the increasing height and that my knees started to wobble. But then again, you’ve made it far enough to quit, don’t look back and most definitely, don’t ever back down, as if there is any other choice available but to finish the climb.
And finally, just keep climbing until you reach the highest peak of the mountain. Always keep your eyes on the goal. Once you’re on top, feel the wind and enjoy the extraordinary fulfillment of conquering the mountain. One thing that’s great with climbing, compared to other daring challenges like roller coaster rides or traveling, is that you do it by yourself, for yourself. No machines to depend on, no planes to ride on, just you and your awesome company.
But the story of hiking story once you reach the summit doesn’t end there. Realize that you’ve just conquered half the job since you needed to move forward and keep climbing. It may not necessarily be as difficult as you’ve climbed, but it’s just as dangerous because each step matters.
Just like life. You have to keep going, you have to keep moving forward. It is never easy, but the journey will be all so worth it. Trust that you are made for something and made for someone. Just hang on tight and enjoy the experience, after all you only live in this world once, might as well get everything possible done. Fear less and always keep your eye on the summit, it may look far but you’ll eventually get there.
Photo credit to Princess Decierdo