One day, I almost died. Yes. Because I decided to climb a mountain.
I’m writing this post to influence you to climb by telling you at the start that you could die. Great.
A lot of people find it crazy that there are some humans who love climbing dangerous mountains. One might think, you let yourself suffer and, worse, you even pay for it? Masochist much? Yeah, I get where they’re coming from, but they wouldn’t understand the deal once they themselves stepped their feet on a summit of a ravishing mountain.
My desire for climbing mountains started when I felt my badly broken heart healing (isn’t this every mountaineer’s story?) after volunteering to hike a mountain and plant a tree in our university’s tree-planting activity. After that event, I felt stronger and I met a lot of nice people. Seeing how big the world is around us made me realize that there is so much more to life than what is in front of us right now.
I believe everyone must at least try to climb even once in their lives for these reasons:
- Feeling of liberty. Once we set our feet in the presence of mother nature, we’ll get that feeling of being capable of doing anything. We’ll feel like a curious playful child, exploring, away from the complicated, boring, stressful, adult world. Carrying a backpack, celebrating the sound of running water from the rivers, and being able to explore the unusual things we’ll meet along the way – what could feel more freeing?
- Feeling of peace. Mind spacing is the antidote to everyday stress in our frenetic lives, and the solemnity of the mountains will be helpful for uncluttering our brains. Everything around us is stunning, and after feeling that peacefulness, we’ll feel recharged and more alive to face the challenges in our daily lives. Being at the top of a mountain feeds your mind and spirit.
- Appreciation of little things. Wow… the beauty of God’s creations. What’s not to love? A lot of us are ungrateful with life. We complain a lot and are insatiably hungry. We want to have more, then we get more, then we’ll want more. When we climb a mountan, we’ll realize the only things that matters. We aiming for survival, and we’ll realize the most important things in our lives when we are so close to death. We’ll value more the things we always take for granted. After the trip, every glass of water, every one cracker of sky flakes is special.
- Feeling of excitement. Falling off a cliff? Seeing an unusual specie? Meeting an old woman in the middle of nowhere and then she’d suddenly disappear? Gosh, the mysteries of a mountain! Excitement makes us feel more alive! A life filled with excitement is a life well-lived!
- Self-discovery. Climb a mountain an you’re one step towards self-mastery. In this journey, you’ll know how you’ll be able to handle certain situations. You’ll be surprised of the things that you never knew you could do. You will be able to see your potential. Besides that, the moment you reach the peak, you will be connected to your untapped genius because your mind is in relax mode. This is the reason why some retreat houses are located in high areas, and the main reason why some people go to mountains when faced with big decisions in their lives.
- Spiritual healing. Upon reaching the peak, you’ll feel closer to heaven. You can feel God hugging you. The view of the landscape in front of you will feel like paradise.
- Great physical activity. The moment that our mind, body and soul unite is the moment we reach our best self. This intense physical activity has great effect in our mental as well as in our physical health.
- Feeling of achievement and pride. “I’m the man! I’m so f***ing strong! Nobody can beat that!” Being able to tell this yourself – bragging rights dude! Especially if you’ve climbed the harderst mountains. Oh the respect.
- Discovering the art of simplifying. I remember the first time I climbed a mountain, that was in Mt. Pinatubo, I brought with me 3 pairs of clothes and 1 big towel, because I assumed that I would need to change after bathing in the lake, and if ever I get super wet from perspiration, I have extra. The struggle from that experience – intense! Good thing our tour guide carried our super heavy bags for us (kawawang manong guide). Now I realized that 2 shirts, one short/jogging pants and one small towel are enough (this is for day tours only). When preparing for this trip, you only bring what you need. You won’t bring your make-up kit, your fashionable hiking clothes or your heavy binoculars if you want to make the most out of this trip. I actually learned the art of minimalist living in hiking! I love this quote from the author of the little prince – “Perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing more to add, but when there’s nothing more to take away.” Indeed I enjoyed the trip more with less bag load. Now I am carrying this minimalism style in all areas of my life. Less is more.
- Meeting new people. A lot of hikers you’ll meet along the way are so cool, and cute! This is one way to expand your social circle. You’ll meet new friends who are so madly in love with mountains. A lot of different kinds of people will greet you along the journey as well. Also, you’ll get to meet locals and locals are really cool! They are soooo light to be around. I believe it’s because of their being intact with nature. Locals are high with life!
Climb a mountain and you’ll realize that it’s a lot like journeying through our dreams. We get to see beautiful things, experience a lot of pitfalls, we almost give up and ask ourselves why the hell are we doing it, but when we reached the top, everything was all so worth it.
Book your hike now!