Finally today is the day to answer the unanswered question from years! Why do I climb? This is one frequent question I receive from family and friends with a weird look always. For few I’m so jobless to do all such, for few I am a fool risking my life at the edge, for few I’m just wasting my time with no goal in life etc etc. Before you express your feelings, people conclude with ‘n’ reasons and declares you are one big fool 😀 (Hope many can relate to this). I should say life itself is a mountain with mixed feelings and challenges along the way. So does this mean that we should stop living? or face them, learn and grow stronger? Everyone choose to face the difficulties coming by, learn from it and grow stronger to live life.
My reasons as why I climb is simple and clear.
I climb to be close with nature; Mother nature is your biggest teacher ever. What one learn during a climb is not replaceable with any degrees or University coaching. It teaches me patience, persistence and gratitude. It’s not the physical difficulties but also the mental difficulties one faces and it brings out the best of you.The classic quote that tells “not to look at the whole mountain take it one peice at a time” is something to understand. I learn to never give up; to know that the reward will be worth the work it takes. It takes several months, attempts and hours but I will to time and achieve the climb. It is like reaching a goal, achieving a dream and figuring out that I can do anything that set mind to. It’s an addictive feeling that no one can properly explain and one have to experience.
The voices of wildlife, the wind, music of stream flows, the calmness and whispers from nature are all a package I can ask for to loose myself completely. Ones ego will be cut down totally as one comes close to nature. It’s a realization that Homosapiens is nothing in front of nature; Nature has the power to destruct or construct – Respect nature and it’s resources.
I climb to challenge myself; not so that I become arrogant but be humble, not to succeed but learn, not to show off but to look inside. I don’t trek because I can, I trek because I want to. It is an opportunity to know myself better; How I react to, what do I do in adverse conditions – knowing the fact one wrong step or a mistake would be deadly but the next right step would be rewarding. “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves – Edmund Hillary”.
I climb to find my inner voice (PS I’m not suffering from Celebral edema 😛). Many can’t do’s turned into will do’s. It’s all about knowing myself better. It’s a realization the issues one have in life is smaller than what was thought of. Everything looks smaller in front of a mountain and the challenges to come across to reach top. As I climb up, it calms me down. I’m with myself for that brief moment of time and there is no other feeling that can match up the calmness and nearness to myself. I know, I’m not a philosopher to explain this in real sense. But I’m sure many among you who are afflicted similarly will agree.
I climb meeting new people (locals, sherpas, fellow climbers etc) along the way who are like minded and who makes the journey worthwhile and amazing. Hikers and climbers are an awesome breed of people. They are all positive, strong, confident and they are all happy. Life’s long friends can be made this way as we generally spend much time with them. It’s always a team work to reach the summit. There is always something to learn from the people you meet and from every climb. Listening to their stories is an added value. All these are worth experiencing in life 🙂.
I climb to enjoy the small luxuries in life. A grueling hours of vertical in the heat and you stop for water break. It will probably the best water you have ever tasted in your life. We overlook the small things in life that we take for granted. When you reach the peak but forgot to bring extra coat, you will realise how cold the wind can make you and how important the little things are when they are not there. We learn to become more prepared and to respect comfortable things. The stars you gaze sleeping in nature, the milkyway you see with a naked eye, the sunset, the sunrise, the stream water, the chirping sounds of birds are all little things to enjoy and ask for in life. Nothing in life can replace such pleasures.
Mountains test your essence. They bring out your best and worst. They are completely unforgiving, impersonal and answer to no higher authority. When you agree to climb high mountains, you declare formally or informally how to dispose your body upon death. It is said that without mountains permission, one can’t take a step on it. It’s the mountain who decides the climb.
These are my reasons to climb and hope many will relate to one or more of these. Share your experiences and reasons and would love hear. PS I’m not a pro or have done mountaineering, I’m just an amateur.