Have you ever had that feeling of wanting to begin something new but not knowing where to begin?
Now imagine that that something is climbing a mountain and not having any knowledge of physical activity is your starting point. That was the position I was in three years ago when I hiked my first mountain, Siggjo in Bomlo, Norway with a close friend of mine, Inge-Martin. The mix feelings of excitement and nervousness ran throughout my body of wanting to climb, but also asking myself ‘what if’ questions to make up any excuse to not go through with the climb. Though I was an occasional runner, this was my first time hiking a mountain and all I knew was that I had to completely trust Inge-Martin to get me to the top and bottom safely. Within that first hike, I discovered the internal conflict of wanting to stop and rest but also wanting to push my limits. I related it to my daily decisions and came to the realization that my decisions are my own and only I have the power to take control over them. I believe it is moments like these that allow for people to grow together and as individuals. If it was not for this specific experience I do not think I would have been as prepared to hike Montserrat as I was.
The hike up to the monastery of Montserratt was roughly under 1,000 meters above sea level while Siggjo was less than 500 meters high. I kept reminding myself that there is no difference between the two mountains besides the height of each. As I disconnected myself from my phone as much as possible only to take a few pictures here and there, I felt more at ease with myself. Hearing conversations die down, the sounds of feet stepping through tough terrain, and heavy breathing increase was relaxing to know I was not alone on this journey.
The only person back home in the states who would be comfortable hiking a mountain as high as Montserrat is my younger brother Salvador. At the beginning of the hike, I kept reflecting on runs and workouts we went on. The relationship we have is not influenced by conversation, but instead, it is built on the company of each other and nature. It was not till we started hiking I started to build similar relationships with the people around me. Though for many in my group, Montserrat was their first mountain they hiked I was extremely impressed with the level of dedication and enthusiasm everyone had. Without it being said, you could feel the unity amongst each other. The small breaks we had going up gave everyone a chance to sit back and enjoy nature at its purist. What I mean by that is the sounds of birds chirping, wind blowing through the branches, and the company of each other. In that moment in time it was only us and nature. Once we started walking again the feeling of belonging to something bigger never left. Though getting to the Monastery and learning the history behind it was interesting, I learned more about myself and my peers on the way up.