I Climbed a Mountain (And Survived)

I really surprised myself last week, I climbed one huge mountain and got over a pretty big internal mountain. A group of my co-workers had planned a hike up the local mountain, Table Top, an extinct volcano that’s pretty decent in size. It was an adventure I have had on my ‘To Do’ list for quite some time but had never done anything about actually doing it. When I heard everyone from work discussing it I thought now’s my time, this is the perfect opportunity to go with a group of people I’m friends with and a few who know the way up.

As soon as I made a verbal commitment to one of the girls the doubts, excuses and mental mean girl chatter started. I had so many reasons why I shouldn’t do the climb:

  • I’m pretty unfit
  • I’d look like a fool
  • Everyone would have to wait for me
  • I didn’t know what to wear (Yup a pretty poor reason but that’s what I was thinking)
  • That I had had a late shift at work and it was an early start
  • That I might feel sore or hurt myself
  • That I thought I had a stomach bug or something (I didn’t)
  • That I was already tired
  • Did I really want to do it?

Going to bed the night before I actually felt pretty nervous, that combined with a late shift at work I was really wide awake and did not get a good nights sleep. My alarm went off early the next morning and the excuses started, it was cold, I was tired etc. I kept thinking it would be so easy to message everyone right there and then and say “hey guys, going to give it a miss, thanks anyway”, it would have been so easy. I also knew that all this resistance, self doubt and excuses were even more reason why I had to do this hike. Bailing  would confirm the negative thoughts such as I was too unfit and unhealthy to do, it instead of loving my body to the fullest and pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone and surprise myself.

I got up and I got dressed (yes I did try on a few shirts too), I still felt like I looked like a fool but just went with it. I nearly had a melt down because I couldn’t take the backpack I thought I wanted to take, which in my mind another reason I shouldn’t do it (I was a bit premenstrual). But I kept taking little steps, I put my shoes on, got in the car, drove to the meeting point.

Standing at the bottom of the mountain I almost turned around with my hands in the air saying “Nope, that’s it, thanks but I’ll wait in the car!” In that moment I was having some flashbacks of me at 12 years of age on a school camp. In year 7  I went on a school camp to Carnarvon Gorge, which really is a beautiful place but to be honest I don’t have great memories of the trip. The worst memory for me was having to do this hike up a huge mountain to a look out and feeling so sick, sore, unfit and embarrassed about my body and level of fitness that I didn’t want to feel like that again. I can be a bit stubborn too and don’t like feeling like I’m being made to do something I don’t want to do, which is exactly how I felt on that walk. I had to remind myself this was different, the people I was with were my work mates, they’ve seen me in all sorts of emotional states before, I was 12 years older too, I’m feeling a little more confident in myself, it was also my decision to do this I wasn’t being forced by a teacher and I knew that I’m a bit more capable than I give myself credit for, so I did it. (Sorry to the guys I was with for having to listen to me kinda complain so much at the start).

The hike wasn’t really what I expected, there was very little walking track and lots and lots and lots of rocks. I felt like a very uncoordinated mountain goat at times. I huffed and puffed and slowly made my way to the top with my face getting redder by the minute but I did it and I survived. Not only had I climbed one hell of a mountain but I’d overcome one big internal one and surprised myself at the same time. I’ve got to say I’m actually pretty proud of myself for doing the hike and I actually want to do it again. I was a little sore after but not in my legs like you’d think it was my arms that were the sorest, I possibly climbed the mountain like a gorilla, I don’t know.

I wanted to write this story mostly for me. Climbing Table Top for me was quite an achievement physically and mentally that I want to remember. I know there will be so many more times in my life when I will be facing something, (an adventure, change, project etc) where resistance will rare it’s head but I want to remember that one time I climbed a mountain and survived.

4 thoughts on “I Climbed a Mountain (And Survived)

  1. I thought this would be appropriate 🙂 I know you’ve watched it many times before and cried, and it may have already crossed your mind but I’ll put it here anyway as this was what came to my mind as I read:

  2. Hi Caitlin, that was an amazing achievement that you done climbing Table Top…..congratulations…..none of your emotions were showing as you made your way off that morning and you looked pretty pleased with yourself that night..👏👏⛰. Grandma. Xx😘

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