The steepness of the mountain changed slowly although I did feel my ears pop once or twice. The trail continuously ran around and through a mountain river. Hopping from stone to stone we followed the trail. Climbing through narrow passages and keeping balance on the edge of the river, I felt my confidence grow. Soon, the “path” was taking us toward a steep wall of rock. Wet rock. Slipping and grabbing onto anything that was protruding, I continued on. Three hours later we made it to the top of a nearby mountain. By that time, we couldn’t continue on to the main target, Shari, because it would have taken us back after the sunset.
The trip down however was quite painful. I was exhausted; my legs and feet stopped listening to me. After hitting my head hard several times, I felt dizzy. I banged my knee and felt a very painful bruise. Muscles on my arms, back and legs were aching in disbelief. My feet were completely soaked because I couldn’t balance them on stones when crossing the river. Wet and aching we made it back to the car right before sunset.
I knew the reason behind this “exercise” shortly after arriving home. When I was on the trail, I was one with nature. I had no external thoughts which usually keep my head occupied with many “what ifs”. I wasn’t worried about family, friends, work, money, travel, bagpack, opinions, stereotypes, wars, etc. I completely let go of everything. I was empty. The only thing that mattered was the path in front of me. My feet moving. My breath steady. My muscles flexing. My head clear.