Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 7:32:19 AM
When I was little, my parents used to plan more than a couple outdoor trips to a wide range of places, from a close-by mountain to a world-renown national park. Usually, these trips were more than just sight-seeing – they involved up to seven hours of hiking a day. Though it may not seem like a lot, it was a lot in the eyes of a little elementary school kid with not-so-long legs. I remember always dreading at the beginning of each hike, unable to grasp any possibility of my finishing the entire hike. Nature, to me, was only real-life landscape pictures that were spectacular, but not inviting enough for me to drag myself uphill, gasping for air.
However, Nature did inspire me to change my perspective on climbing, as I tackled more and more mountains. The inspiration came from a pattern I had observed from climbing multiple mountains; I noticed that every time the trail ascended to a new altitude, a more breathtaking scenery showed up. As much as I disliked the sweating and the aching that accompanied hiking, I would look forward to a broader, more expansive view from a higher ground. With every cramp I felt, I urged myself to push harder just so I could get a glimpse of nature at its finest. That’s why every time I reached the summit, I never for a second regretted the strenuous, tiring climb that brought me where I was, right between the vast ocean blue sky and the soils of Mother Earth. The sense of accomplishment and exhilaration I felt for setting my eyes on the awe-inspiring manifestations of Nature after enduring a long, worthwhile hike was what made me realize the importance of the process – each and every bit of the struggle – and not the outcome. No sense of happiness would hit me if I were dropped from a helicopter onto the summit. Granted that I would see the same scenery, I would not be able to cherish the great deal of sweat and persistence I felt in hiking my way up.
Just as how my climbs led to breathtaking sceneries, the struggles in life, though taunting, could lead to some spectacular results. When I was dripping sweat and my lungs were burning, I could not see the sublime view that awaited me down the road. It’s times like these that make bearing the struggles more crucial, that show whether a person can stand up to the test. I could’ve easily ended the struggle by stopping and giving up halfway. However, I clenched my teeth and persisted, for I knew that the view would stay where it was – only I could move on. Of course, my difficult process paid off. Finally understanding why people say, “You get out of what you put in,” I learned from Nature that the harder the struggle, the better the outcome.