I've never been one for running marathons, hiking or mountain climbing, so when a friend asked me to climb Mount Batur in Bali I was definitley hesitant....but the feeling and adrenalin rush at the end was definitely worth it.
It was Monday the 17th August and a small group of us had decided we were climbing the ever so popular mountain. Packed our sports gear, back packs, cameras and positive mindset and in bed early as our driver was picking us up at 1:30am the next morning. It was a two hour drive to reach the mountain and to be honest all I was wanting to do was sleep, yet we were quietly excited for the adventure ahead. The guys kept us entertained with music, stories and lots of questions and before we knew it, we had arrived to our first stop.....a little village for tea and fried bananas. This would give us our energy and potassium required for the long journey ahead. The tourists were piling in by the bus load, passing by the cafe enroute to the base of the mountain....and we were one of them!
It was 3:45am and we were set to go. We met our tour guide, Radia who was soon to become my best friend. I knew it would be a bit of a struggle as I wasn't well prepared but I was soon to realise the struggle was bigger than what I imagined. It was dark, cold and all we could see was 3-4 steps ahead with our head torches and a sea of lights from below. It was a 2 hour climb, up a 4.5 kilometre mountain that was 1700 metres above sea level so it was definitely a huge challenge ahead.
My mindset had started off weak, I was taking breaks regularly and my sister, Jess and sister from another mister Kaitlyn kept telling me to take breaks when it suited me but what I really knew in the back of my mind was I was making excuses....."i needed a drink" "I'm tired" etc. It was after about the fifth break that I realised it was ME and my mindset. Again as they said to me "take your time" I proceeded to tell them "stop saying that, I know I can do it and I WILL DO IT but I just have to say keep going". This was a turning point for me. I had changed my mentality, was maximising the assistance I was getting from Radia and was more determined than ever that I was going to make it.
As we were nearing the top we could see the sun starting to break through the clouds and my sister ahead had said to me "when you get to the next level area to turn around you are going to have a moment" and that I did. It was the most spectacular thing I've ever seen. Looking out over the land, a small village in sight and the sun was slowly starting to shine and break through the clouds. Yes it brought tears to my eyes. We were not yet to the summit so we continued on probably only another 500 metres to where we would sit and watch the sunrise. The best thing was the tour guides had all told us it was "the best sunrise they had had in 2 weeks as previous days tourists hadn't even had their cameras out for photos" so we were extremely privileged.
As I huffed and puffed to the summit I was overcome with emotion and to say I was proud of myself was an understatement. This was a huge feit for me. I'd never done anything so physically and mentally challenging before and was so proud of what I'd achieved. I'm not going to say it was easy, it wasn't but it was that pivotal moment when I realised it was my mindset that would get me to the top and the constant "internal voice talking" and reassuring me I WILL DO IT, I WILL GET THERE.
After spending about an hour at the top, enjoying breakfast, taking in the sights, photos, capturing the moment and exploring the mountan it was time to start the trek down. I thought this would be the easy part but in all seriousness it was as challenging as the trek up but for different reasons. Lactic acid and fatigue had kicked in, our legs were like jelly and we were soon gliding through volcanic ash downwards, where no grip on such shoes could have prepared us, yet we were still on cloud nine from what we had achieved and conquered.
We arrived safely after a couple of slips and slides to the bottom of the mountain where our drivers greeted us "you are the last ones down" and we loved every moment of it. We sang, danced and laughed the whole way home and spoke about it for the rest of the trip.....and I continute to tell people about it as it was one of my life's greatest achievements, coming in second to having my kids of course haha.
I decided at the end of 2014 that the year ahead was going to be about "creating memories and challenging myself" and thats what I've done. I've not only met some wonderful people, travelled alot but I've also done alot of things this year that I wouldn't have previously thought about doing and in turn am creating a real life scrap book of wonderful memories.