Last week I was exhausted. Just the weekend before I backpacked through the tallest mountain in Southern California. It was quite a trip and exhausting drive just to get there. Each step of the climb was tough. There was ice and snow in spots and my fingers swelled up to little sausages. I thought. I thought alot! I talked to my friends also on the trip but talking sometimes took too much energy. Especially when I was hungry and it felt like we were close but never going to make it to the summit. Mind you the first night we hiked 6 miles because we initially missed our camp. When we set up camp, I had a hammick and I am still not sure whether I actually slept or not. I was uncomfortable.
The next morning there was a new and fresh feeling to the day. When we finally made it past most of the switch backs, we sat down and ate what tasted like the most amazing food (a simple package of tune and bread and cookies). Every bite was delicious. Then I felt rejuvenated to make it to the top. A few minutes later we dropped our backpacks and summit-ed up to the very top. 11,000+ feet in elevation. The few was worth every bit of sweat and pain. Interestingly on the uphill climb when I just wanted to give up and my mental capacity was being challenged I kept thinking of my grandfather, my Zeyda. Of the little bit that I know of him, I knew he loved hiking and being outdoors. I know he was proud of my mom for backpacking with all the boyscouts and even carrying their dog. I felt nostalgia for something I never had experienced and I only hoped that I made him proud.
The downhill was steep and I took each step carefully. Our group again passed our camp and so it turned into a fun and laughing night hike back to the cars. A total of close to 16 miles on that day. When we reached our cars, exhaustion hit and our bodies began to feel the past 22 miles in a little more than 24 hours. It was a beautiful and wonderful challenge to face with friends. There was little complaining and many good conversations.
One things I’ve learned is that there is something amazing when you climb a mountain. No matter the height, the view is almost always worth it. The pain and the tears on the uphill are nearly forgotten when you reach the peak. Its kind of ironic how that works out but also such a blessing. I am grateful for the climb I’ve been on since the accident because I’m still here. But more than that, I am grateful for the view I am currently getting to see! Its incredible and nothing like I ever would have envisioned or imagined. I know this isn’t the top and there will still be more uphill battles, but, I know that there is a time for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes). This life is unbelievable and awful and beautiful and wonderful and tragic. It just depends on which curve you’re on.
The other thing, probably the more important one, is that everything happens for a reason. Every step up, fall down and turn down the wrong fork in the road will lead you up the mountain and one day you will see and maybe understand the beauty in the view.