We’re Tougher Than We Think – The Walk To The Top Of Snowdon
We hear a lot about how life is short and that we should really be making the most of it. The fact that I only have this one life has led me to think of it as a box that I want to fill with experiences. I want to enjoy living my own stories and adventures. As such, when the opportunity to try something new comes along – within reason of course – I try not to hesitate from having a go.
When I was younger my parents would take me out a lot. When we went on holiday we would fit in so much that it could be exhausting. They also love the outdoors and took me on lots of walks. I remember moaning about it at the time, partly because of my fallen arches causing me pain on rough terrain, but also because I didn’t like being taken away from my computer. Now that I’m older I look back with fondness at those memories and I actually really appreciate the fact that my parents provided me with so many experiences. It allowed me to learn more about myself and the world.
My partner and I went on a break to Wales last week. I usually like to try and fit in a few activities that I couldn’t ordinarily do at home. One of my ambitions was to walk up Snowdon (the highest mountain in Wales.) As my parents had already taken me up Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in Britain) as a kid I wanted to have this other achievement added to my collection of experiences. I’d been to the top before using the train, but by walking it you feel like you have earned those views and can appreciate them more so as a result. I also love that feeling of progress you get upon reaching ever higher points.
Of course you forget how physically exerting getting up a mountain is when you haven’t done it for a while. It might be a piece of cake for those with a physical prowess, but my partner and I are both flat footed indoor types. My partner had also never attempted to get up a mountain before and I wasn’t sure if he’d think I was crazy for suggesting it or embrace the challenge.
We met some lovely people on the way up that were just as inexperienced as we were. We’d call out encouragement to each other and those coming back down would inform us as to how far was left to go. One man told us that he was there as part of a fund raiser and that he was a smoker that wasn’t use to such physical exertion. The thin air was making it difficult, but he marched on regardless. Our original thought was that we’d be happy just to get half way, but somehow we kept going and going until it seemed pointless turning back. When we gazed back at the path we’d traversed we couldn’t believe we’d actually walked that.
I love anything that allows us to challenge ourselves, marathons for instance. It doesn’t matter if you get to the finish slower than everybody else because it’s a personal journey; To each individual the benchmark is different, but an achievement no less. I think many of us are stronger than we realize, we just don’t often get the opportunity to prove it to ourselves. I think we can also be a little guilty of making up excuses not to give things a go, either by putting ourselves down or assuming that it’s not for us. Most of us however, don’t even know what we like or are fully capable of until we’ve actually had a go. If we later realize something isn’t for us, in most cases we can simply back out early and don’t have to go there again.
While hiking isn’t something my partner and I usually do much of, we enjoyed ourselves and feel really proud of our accomplishment. The top also greeted us with clear skies and a gorgeous view, making it all worthwhile and seeming to soothe the aches in our legs. Another ambition ticked off my list and a new experience added to my collection.