I climbed a volcano (and then got rained on!)

Author’s note: this post was originally written in March 2015 and has been sitting in my drafts since then. Apologies to those who enjoy timeliness to their stories.

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It’s not everyday that you experience a perfect metaphor for your life, but when I was in Bali last month that very thing happened to me.

My friend Tanysha and I went on a hike up Mt Batur to see the sun rise. We left Kuta at 2 a.m. (yes, you read that right) and it started pouring. Fan-freaking-tastic.

We started climbing close to 4 a.m. wearing very attractive plastic ponchos – that I removed after about 15 minutes because it felt like I was dying in a greenhouse.

Just before we hit halfway up I was reminded just how fit I was when a 70 year old man overtook me. Hmm. This was not helped by the fact that the rest of the way up was ridiculously steep. For the next hour and a half (it felt like MUCH longer) I struggled up the mountain – having to stop every five minutes because I couldn’t breathe. It was like having multiple anxiety attacks. More than once I thought I would vomit.

At this point I should nominate Tanysha and our tour guide for medals for being so patient with me.

I wanted to give up and lie down and not go any higher. I wanted to go back to my comfy bed at the hotel and sleep. But I didn’t – with the help and encouragement from Tanysha and the tour guide I (very slowly) made it to the top. It was the greatest physical challenge I can ever remember accomplishing.

Just as I was about to celebrate my victory the skies opened up once again and released a giant downpour. Just give me a break already!

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So, here’s my metaphor…

Each one of us is climbing our own volcano. There are many obstacles put in our path, but we have to take them one step at a time.

It is so much easier having someone supportive to encourage you during these times.

When you get to the top, there may be a downpour, but that doesn’t change the fact that you climbed it. It doesn’t matter if someone else climbed faster or higher or didn’t sweat the entire time – you accomplished something!

I climbed a physical volcano (an act I will probably never try again), now it’s time to take on the mental ones.It will take significantly longer, but if I keep moving forward, no matter how slowly, I aim to reach the top – and so should you.

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