What I Learnt from Trekking ~ Neelima Singh
It has almost been a year since I have started trekking and apart from a usual getaway from the city life, there is so much that I have learned not only about mountains but also about life in these treks. Climbing a mountain has made me experience the very important lessons that we normally read in our books.
There are people who have asked me, what do I get out of trekking? And, isn’t all the treks kind of same? Maybe, it’s the way they look at it. I look at it with a totally different perspective. Climbing a mountain is just not about reaching the peak through uneven rocky trails that tires you like anything. It is so much more. It is the closest thing to experiencing life.
Don’t let others doubt yourself
When I reached the base of my first trek, Kumara Parvata, our group instructor told me that I should have done couple of treks before coming for Kumara Parvata. We had to climb 14 kms uphill, to reach the peak at 1712 mts, starting from the sea level. The numbers didn’t make much sense to me but I was scared and thinking if I have made the right choice of picking this as my first trek. There are so many times when we question our own choices based on other’s opinions and doubt our capabilities. For a moment we forget why we have chosen a certain path at all and often we don’t even dare to take the first step thinking we will not be able to succeed. But, to succeed is not important, to follow your path is. I took that first step and was at the peak in 8 hours.
You have to walk your own path
Every mountain I have climbed has posed different challenges but one thing has always been common and that is, 70% of the trail, I have walked alone. Sometimes people will walk with you, sometimes they will not wait for you and sometimes you may not wait for them. People will come and go, few will motivate you to walk a little more and few will burden you with their own baggage. The important thing to keep in your mind is that it’s your journey and you have to finish it on your own. People may help you if they want to but you are expected to reach your destination on your own and maybe alone. No one else can walk for you!
You are your only competition
In my earlier treks, while I was taking a break and resting, I saw my fellow trekkers going ahead of me and in my head I use to think if I will be the last one to reach the top. I didn't realize it then, that to be the first or the last is not important, what is important is to be at the top. Your competition is not your group members but you yourself. This is the challenge you have signed up for so you just have to beat your former self. So, set your own pace, take your own sweet time, be better and you will get there.
Don’t let small problems overshadow your big ambitions
The worst part of any monsoon trek is leeches and it took me a few treks to understand that every time you halt to remove the leeches off you, ten more leeches will get onto you. And these little black sticky blood sucking creatures made me realize how important it is to ignore small problems when you are aiming to achieve something really big. The more attention you give to your problems, they will bog you down even more and will overpower you. That’s why, the best is to ignore your problems and let them suck your blood because once you finish your journey, your body will replenish all the blood that you have lost.