More often than not, people would ask me why I climb mountains when it’s tiring and dangerous and what I get out of climbing one. My default answer for the why would always be because, “it’s fulfilling”. But now that I think about it, fulfillment is such a broad word and in this post, I will try to break down what hiking specifically does for me aside from all the health benefits it gives.
I am no expert when it comes to climbing mountains. In fact, I’ve only climbed three so far. Nonetheless, I still have plans of climbing more in the days to come.
I mentioned in one of my posts that I have always wanted to try hiking but what stopped me were my fear of heights and lack of confidence when it came to my endurance. After I started going to the gym, my confidence slowly built up so I wanted to check if I have made any progress. And so initially, hiking made me more confident of my capabilities.
Second, there is that euphoric feeling upon reaching the highest point of the mountain or the summit. Well, it’s not everyday I get to be at 760 meters above sea level and I got there using my own two feet. It’s like at one point you look at how high the mountain is and then somehow, you’re already at the top? Nice.
Third, hiking gives me a break from all the fast-paced city life and the real world craziness by stripping down all the fancy stuff and just going back to basics. No you won’t find a clean bathroom in the mountains, cellular reception is oftentimes weak, there are no restaurants so you have to bring your own packed meal and drinks, and yes, it gets really hot up there. All these in exchange for a nice space to enjoy the beauty of nature that you do not see everyday. Worth it!
Fourth, as cliché as it may sound, hiking saps all the negative feelings, stress and anxiety out of my body. I believe that there is always a significant difference between the person you are before and after climbing. Meaning, every mountain I climb transforms me to a different person every time and it’s a good kind of transformation.
And finally, I’ve made new friends because of hiking. As they say, if you want to get to know a person better, travel, or in this case, hike, with them. I get really flattered whenever people invite me to hike because more than climbing mountains, there is also the companionship that makes the hiking experience better. So I really hope that I am a good hiking companion!
So now when people ask why I hike or what I get out from it, I think I can just direct them to this entry or I can still say one of the following:
I hike because it’s fulfilling;
I hike because I like (heh); or
Try hiking and see for yourself (but don’t forget to take me with you. Lol)
And so for those who have not tried hiking, I highly encourage you to try it out at least once in your life so you would understand the feeling firsthand.