Friday, 11 May 2018

Is it Worth Carrying On?

Waiting for wind

There are times when I’m in a moment thinking “What the heck am I doing here?” or “Is it worth carrying on with this?” (whatever I’m doing or where I’m at). In reality these are thoughts that bother me as I see them as precursors to getting negative or less motivated. But, as the one saying goes, “...when you’re tired, learn to take rest, not give up.” This is when I do actually sit down and/or just stop and pay attention to where I am as I’m there voluntarily, nobody forced me to go this place or put myself in this situation. Usually there’s also nobody to talk to and/or ask advice which I think is a good thing. This is something you and only you can sort out with yourself; what somebody else says is not going to change the situation you’re in or how you’re feeling.

These moments have, especially in the last few weeks, provided me with intense experiences and I’m talking of an intensity I’ve not been accustomed to in relation to relatively normal days. Intense experiences like jumping out of a plane for your first parachute jump/skydive - that intense! It’s as if my senses were on super alert and I was mentally a dry sponge and the experience which I then have becomes a total body and mental, might even call it spiritual if you want, experience.

Calbuco ascent trail

What are these intense experiences I have, you ask? Using as an example my recent ascent of the slopes of Calbuco Volcano. The trail is pretty much non-existent with dense forest and washed out sections, the volcanic gravel is deep and for every two steps forward, I slide one back. I stopped...weighing up whether it was worth continuing on this route or going back and finding another. At this moment, I saw near me a Chucao Tapaculo, a very shy undergrowth bird but with lovely plumage, and actually said out loud “Oh hello!” and talking - there was nobody else there to tell me I’m crazy! The bird actually then started coming right up to me, followed by another two.Within the space of no more than 20 seconds, I had three of these birds about 30-40cm from my feet just looking up at me, foraging a bit, then looking up at me again. This continued for probably no more than 1-2 minutes before they foraged deeper into the forest again.

Volcan Osorno sunrise



THAT was the type of moment I live for and go off the beaten track! This moment which would otherwise maybe just been a cool birdwatching moment, burnt itself into my mind so intensely that in the evening thinking about it, it surprised me by its intensity! This was also something which gave me incentive to carry on, in this case with the difficult ascent.

Lago Espejo, Neuquén, Argentina
The evening thinking of this I realised how many moments over the last few weeks there had been like this, sometimes more than one a day, that was so intense but rekindled the urge to carry on. Maybe I’ve now subconsciously started looking out more for these kind of these - my next reason to carry on further and possibly even harder. Maybe I’m getting addicted to them which I don’t think is a bad thing either as I go to sleep at night, wake up the morning, ready for another day - mostly with no idea what I’ll specifically be doing or where I might go.

Drop of red

Sharing this, I can only say; look for those little lovely things, something that might seem ordinary but stopping and spending a few seconds with it, might let you realise how extraordinary it is. Smile, or even laugh out loud, it’s your moment and nobody can take it away from you. These moments collectively will make everyday feel like it’s been a winner, regardless of what else may have happened.

Remember, you and only you are responsible for your own happiness. There is nobody on this planet that can make you happy although they may contribute to your happiness, it is ultimately you who has to find, and decide, that smile that comes to your face.

Summit dreams



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