We were there at the top of a mountain. About 1100 meters up from the ground. The whole world seemed so small and so did our problems. While walking and climbing up those mountains, all I did was tell myself that ‘ I can do this, believe it’. There were many who were exhausted, many who had already reached at the top (mostly our trekking trainers). But we all had one thing in common, we didn’t have the option to quit or retract. Once our feet had started in the direction of the mountain top, there was no going back. The path we climbed up; was the path we were going to climb down through.
A lot of things change when we stop giving ourselves ‘options’. “What really are options? And why do we give ourselves the privilege of having them?”, I asked myself.
I guess, ‘to avoid misery’. Maybe we give ourselves options so that we can give up on the tough road and chose the easier one, thus, giving up on believing that we can achieve the unimaginable.
Why is it that we always chose the safer path? Not just in physical endeavours, but even mentally. “This avoiding and running away from challenges, or grabbing onto the nearest safest option, are these what they call the survival instincts?”.
Innumerable questions clouded my mind as I pushed my feet towards the mountain top. It felt like the mountains were talking to me, they were rocky-gravelly and sandy. Each with a story of their own. Some were easy to be walked on, some weren’t. Some scared me to death and some allowed me to sit and get the much-needed rest.
As the volatile clouds of the clear sunny day provided us with minimum shade, the high-altitude breeze cooled us down. There was a different kind of ‘calm’ up above. We even had a doggo companion with us who joined us for the trek.
I couldn’t help but notice that fearlessness in the doggy’s eyes. He stood at the edge of the mountain and stared into the vast spread in-front of him. I was so scared to even go near the edge, and there the dog was sitting at the edge of a cliff, so fiercely. It was as if he had befriended the mountains! I wondered if I would ever be able to develop such kind of familiarity with the mountains and the wilderness. I believe some part of me did hypothetically wish to explore the wilderness more, but I had given myself the option of returning back to my normal life. And so, I did choose instantly, the safer, familiar path of returning back.
We all trekking buddies pushed our limits that day, we didn’t give up midway because we didn’t have any other option of returning. We were entirely dependent on our trainers, from guiding us all the way up to back down on the ground.
My mind somehow started corelating the twisted roads with my life. I wondered if my life was just like these roads.
These roads demand struggle, and the ones who can manage to walk easily are either the ones who have already travelled a similar path or had the physical strength and will power to push their limits.
Before this trekking camp, I could’ve had hardly imagined myself being able to reach the mountain top, but as quoted by the great Nelson Mandela in his 2001 speech, “IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL IT’S DONE.”