Snap and Ponder: How Mountaineering Changed My Life


The ever feeling of triumph from the moment I stepped into the highest point of a mountain no matter how extreme and treacherous the journey will always make me wanna come back and keep on going.

This episode of #SnapAndPonder is special. Supposedly, I take snaps and select the best and ponder life moments. But this time, I’m having myself taken a picture then reflect. Hence, this photo is credited to James Adalim (Instagram handle: @asanasadsijames).

I grew up being this kid that always sticks on books and computer where grades and levels matter. Most of the time, I study, do my homework, play with my toys, do some household chores, watch TV shows and other typical things a normal kid does. I was being secluded from the outside world where nature shines. Yet, I knew I have a lot to carry on as early as 9 when my Mama passed away.

When I was 15, I moved to a bigger city – new environment, new people, new family and new challenges. I was catching up a lot of things in life especially things I don’t normally experience during my childhood years. Being able to mingle more with people with same interests, keeping up on tests with my classmates and catching up what life has to offer.

I entered College and I chose the degree of my passion. Luckily, I excelled with diligence and luck. With a lot of hard effort from home, studies and work, my soul and will was ravishingly burning and thinking away my burdens and keeping ‘em inside of me. That trait gave me such focus to excel in the fields I wanted to pursue which I was successful. I was a nerd, being happy and satisfied with my daily life of work and studies. The universe filled me with such blessings that I was able to finish my studies with flying colors.

A new chapter was unveiled as I entered the world of real industry. I was pressured yet very happy of what I’m currently doing. I love my job then.  You know that feeling of being able to deliver the tasks given to me and giving smiles from my colleagues which fulfilled not only my pocket by also my soul.

However, destiny is playful and a college friend invited me into an activity that I did not even think of doing and that could have changed my life. I weighed 56 kilograms and physically unfit and I indulged into my first ever trek. It was a day hike to the 2nd highest mountain in Cebu City which is entirely alien to me. I have no idea about the tips and tricks but I am sure that it would be extreme.

That expectation did not fail me because the journey was tough. Imagine trekking to Mt. Kapayas for the first time with someone that does not have many workouts done, except for a few jogs. I even brought a guest which I should attend to. The 1.5L water was not enough for me but luckily, water source was available for me to refill. I thought of quitting but I have left no choice but to continue.

As we were approaching the kiss-the-wall summit, I was skeptical because I don’t know what will happen. Luckily, our backpacks were left behind the campsite which made our climb easier. The sun was so high thus the temperature was unacceptable. My hands and legs were trembling and my shirt soaked with sweat.


*Say hello to my awkward photo during my first trek ever at Mt. Kapayas! Dated September 2015.

However, from the moment the summit has laid eyes on me. All of my complaints and the feel exhaustion was completely wiped away. The limitless view of the cascading mountains enriched my four-eyes with such pleasure. The structure of the beautiful rocks of torre and the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains was enough to leave me in awe. By then I knew, my life was about to change.

As the year passed by, I became addicted to adrenaline. Enduring the body pains and fiery heat of the sun just to attain the satisfaction I was longing for. I became as jubilant as a kid playing on its playground. My body became healthier and weighted 62! I could not stay in a place where I just sit down. I became an extrovert and I became the happiest four-eyed alive (well in my world, of course, :P).

In the mountains, I feel so free and energetic. The nature embracing my soul and my body were capturing moments that I had to catch up from my childhood. It tested my courage, endurance, will and faith as well as my patience, humor, and temper. The interpersonal side of me started to feel what it meant. I felt the warmth of friendship sharing the same agony and sharing the same triumph.


*Hello to the bigger me! 😀 Dated February 2017.

I am very thankful that I got to explore the mountains. It indeed changed my entire life and I completely have no regrets. Sooner, I wanted to see myself as someone that encourages people like the before me to the new me. There’s so much to explore on the outside, why stay on the inside? Go out and set forth in an exciting adventure of life! Happy travels!

How about you? What is that event or activity that has changed your life? Comment down below I would love to hear that. 🙂

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