Monday, 24 August 2009

Musings at Mt Fuji

Everyone relishes the triumph of a conquest. But not everyone is willing is to endure the pain that goes with it.

I have yet to see a soul who is not moved by a majestic sight from the summit.
Yet rarely do I find someone who would go the extra mile to earn the right of that glimpse.

Every climber knows the cycle of pain and retribution, of trials and redemption, of suffering and salvation.

Anyone can be a climber but not everyone can become one.

In the past I have considered myself a force to be reckoned with in climbing.

After all I have been to the summit of tough mountains : Pulag, Sembrano, Batulao, Pico De Loro, Matutum.

By luck, by sheer will or by skill I somehow manage to pull it off and gloat at the thought of beating the odds as if a contest.

But my motivations were based on faulty grounds

There are times when I am driven to reach the summit if only to get a snapshot and show off to my friends, the ones who chose to stay in their comfort zone. The ones who I deem not enlightened of embracing the joy of climbing. I used to mock my so-called non-climber friends never expressly of course but beneath the judgement I render upon them.

But last weekend I experienced something new, a spirit-shattering trek from an unexpected source… Mt Fuji.

To say that it challenged my motivations as a climber is a tame description. It shattered the very foundation of soul. I had reached a point when I doubted myself, when I almost gave up, when I questioned if all the trouble of getting through was worth it.

In the past I encapsulate my conquest with a gleaming photo on the summit for my friends.

Now do I truly realize that the climb was for no else but me.

I now take the photo primarily for myself. And I now understand that beneath the smile is a story of struggle and redemption.

And that makes the shot now more meaningful than ever.

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