As I said in my previous post, my trek at mount Lanaya really taught me several lessons. Who would have thought that the exhausting climb would make me realize several things that would not only make my climb easier but would also be greatly applicable to life in general? Here are some of the life lesson I learned from Mountain Climbing.
Bring the essential, Dispose the burdens.
Yeah, it was such a long trek and those unimportant things I brought really dragged me down. I realized that before going into a battle, one must really check what’s on his bag. If you are going to climb for about 5 hour straight, even a light baggage would be heavy. You need to assess if each item is really worth bringing along. Ask yourself “Do I really need this? Or will this just slow me down?” Shed that extra baggage of negativity and focus only on the important things.
Just focus on the baby steps. Never Lose that focus
The most difficult life lesson mountain climbing taught me would be focus. As my first time, I would say that the climb was really impossible for me. Everytime I realize that we aren’t even halfway to the peak yet (and it’s been hours of climbing already. Huhu), my legs grew wearier and I feel like I couldn’t really make it. I kept wishing for everything to be over. Wishing and whining did not help a bit. It was luck that made me discover that if I just focus on my every step, if I focus on what I have to do at the moment, I feel a bit lighter. So, I focus on my current step.. then my next.. until I finally made it.
Another struggle was met when we were almost at the peak and the guide said “we’re just 10min away”. I was so elated that I forgot to maintain my focus. I began focusing on the destination rather than my baby steps. What happened was that, my legs tendered tremendously and I almost slipped. A moment of lost concentration caused me to feel heavier and the 10 final minutes was actually more excruciating than the previous hours.
If you refuse to make giving up as an option, you’ll find the strength you need to complete the task
Once you accepted the fact that there is no running away from the struggle, you become more focus on accomplishing your tasks rather than escaping. When you face the challenge head on, you are able to focus your remaining strength to the tasks that matters. Why worry so much about the things you can’t control when there are so much more you can control in front of you?
Face the challenge head on, you will be the one to overcome the challenge yourself. You can never expect anyone to carry you up the trail as everyone has their own struggle to attend to.
Refuel as much as you can
This lesson is applicable, be it in life or in mountain climbing. It is always important to refuel. We have to equip ourselves with things that will help us go forward.
It’s about the journey, not the destination
Truth be told, there were many places where the view was much more breath taking than Mt. Lanaya. But what made the view at the top much more satisfying was the hardship we’ve taken to reach it. In the end, what made the destination satisfying was the fact that we were able to endure all the hardship met throughout the journey. We have reached the top with shaking legs and chapped lips. We were more than exhausted but our hearts were all filled with pride and contentment. The completion of the task was a reward in itself. The view was just bonus. For that, we were really grateful.
Help yourself, help others
Finding yourself in a situation where you have to carry your loads then seeing your teammates go through the same situation, you gain more strength to endure your own struggles and sometimes even get out of your way to help your teammates. Surprisingly, struggles bring people closer together because going through something together foster compassion and empathy.
Appreciate what you see
Appreciate what you see. See the green trees, hear the whisper of the wind… the humming of birds… the sound of silence. Take time to appreciate these things. Same with life– always take time to be grateful for the little things. These make the journey worthwhile and bearable.
Take care of your body
The spirit may be willing but the flesh is weak. During the descent, I became aware of this. I already fixed my outlook, but this time, it was my own body giving up. My legs were tender and they were ready to collapse. Without the walking stick, I would have stumbled already. I kept thinking that if only I’ve trained my legs to be stronger, I could have gotten by better. In whatever challenge we are facing, our body is our investment. If we neglect it, it will betray us in times of need.
Hold onto the vines, step onto the solid rocks.
The trail is full of unstable grounds that seem stable at first sight. If you trust what you see, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll really land safely on your next step. Test the ground first before shifting all your weight into it. Tug a vine first before clinging to it with your dear life. Support yourself with your strong foot first while testing your next step. While this may seem to be a laborious task, it’s never too bad to be extra cautious in everything we do. As they say “don’t be the first by whom the new is tried, nor the last to lay the old aside”. Just mean that we have to be cautious in everything in our journey to new things. Step on a stable rock and a strong vine so that you will not stumble.
In life, It would be impossible to reach the top without holding on to anything. For obvious reasons, whatever it is you are going through you have to hold on to something to keep you going- be it your principles, your beliefs, God. It is important that you know what keeps you going and you hold on to stable supports and not the false ones.
Whatever you do, do it with your might.
Finally, whatever you do, do it with your might. When you go through anything halfheartedly, you will only make the challenge even more excruciating. Give it your all and you will surely get your reward.
Not all hardships are bad. Most of them teaches us lessons that would make us better. Always remember all great things are achieved outside your comfort zone. Keep on climbing every mountain.
If you like this article, you may also like “A Weekend in Mt. Lanaya” and “Hit Your Peak: 10 Life Lessons I Learned From Climbing Mountains”