What I learned climbing Mount Fuji

Climbing up to the top is not easy. You constantly feel like turning back, but you’ve already started and come all this way. It gets to a point where you just need to finish. Although the end seems so far away, and you’re fatigued, something inside you just knows that it will be worth it. Something inside you is pushing you each step of the way to achieve that level of satisfaction. “Oh, hello there solo hiker, could you take a photo of me? Thanks! Here, I’ll take a photo of you”. The journey just got more interesting. Many opportunities are presented to stop and take a break, maybe rest for the whole night and start again when you feel refreshed. That’s a trap, a temptation, procrastination. When that happens, don’t give in, keep going, don’t stop. You have to tell yourself, arriving at the top to see that sunrise is going to be sweet…

And guess what? It is sweet. The skies are clear and over the horizon, you can see the aura and the explosion of the rising sun. But this isn’t the normal sunrise you see after sleeping all night. No. This is different. You’ve worked for this sunrise. It’s what pushed you through the rough night. You look at it as though it were the first time. You take in a deep breath and exhale that feeling of relief. You did it! Gazing upon the vast green fields with its tones of orange, red, and yellow, you’re hit with a realization. You have to go back down. You see, the journey isn’t just going up the mountain. It isn’t finished once you’ve hit the top. The journey continues.  Your knees are aching and it’s like the rest of your body has had it. You just want to be done. But you can’t stop here. You pull yourself together and you carry on till you arrive at the foot of the mountain and then its finally over.


Achieving goals like climbing overnight to the top of Mount Fuji to catch the sunrise all have the same requirement. You need to be resilient. Going up, you have to be tough enough to push yourself to the end. Whether you are ready or not, you need to commit yourself to the task. Once you’ve started, you may find yourself leaving people behind, but then you meet brand new people who make the journey easier and more delightful. It took us 10 long hours to arrive at the top and only 4 hours to go down. Admittedly, it would not have been such a good experience for me if it were not for the people I met. All those hours on that mountain was enough time for us to become acquainted with one another and end in non-stop storytelling and jokes, and that really made the journey more memorable.


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