My musing and my fears about both life and an upcoming hike up to the 3rd highest peak in Korea tomorrow.
I have been diligently training for the past month. Biking twice a week, recreational hikes Wednesdays and weekends, soccer when I can squeeze it in. Tomorrow I will leave. When the work day ends, I’ll return home to a change of clothes and a packed bag. Reconized by UNESCO Seoraksan, while not the tallest mountain in the country has been dubbed “the roof of Korea.” This is not the first time I have summited this monstrosity of rock and stone, but that does not make the task any less daunting. It’s almost worse knowing the hours of endless stairs that will eventually quiver my legs, wet my skin, and deprive my lungs of breath. The peak is situated above the tree line over a mile in the sky, and despite it being nearly April, there is a very real threat of snow as we near the top.
There have been a myriad of problems in my life as of late and the stress has been getting to me. I’m sick as dog, my body aches, and I feel twice my age. Yet these small jaunts up local mountains, dubbed as “training” by me, have served as vital lifelines in the relief of that stress by allowing me to focus on a singular and immediately achievable goal. While I seem to be questioning everything around me, every aspect of my life, every decision I’ve made, and every decision I will make, I can honestly say I’ve naught felt prouder than when I demolished my 10km hike at sunset last night it a little over an hour.
That being said I am nervous about tomorrow. I want it; nay need it, to be easy than the other times Ive done it. While previously merely summiting the seemingly insurmountable peak would have sufficed, not this time; now, I need my training to have “paid off.” I need to feel like I’m better than I was. It’s not that I fear I won’t make it to the peak, its the fear I won’t get there in the time or in the way I want.
But isn’t that life? Prepping and training for the proverbial peak: A peak that is ever shifting upwards and out of reach. We all tell ourselves we’ll make it there and while we strive to do it on our own terms, and while others say it can be done, and it’s possible none of us can say, none of us can know until we’ve done it ourselves. Sometimes you just have to try the climb, whether you know you can make it not. Tomorrow I will climb.
Taken with Olympus SP-500UZ