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.