The trip down was more of a continuous fall that shoved your toes into the fronts of your boots. There was the constant fear of falling because it was steep enough you felt your balance was in danger and the rocks and loose dirt were large and loose enough you either rolled your ankles or literally slid every other step. I saw so many people fall and land on their bums.
At this point, with only nearly three hours of interrupted sleep and a mountain climbed, I was at the very end of my mental, emotional, and physical rope. My legs were shaking from exhaustion.
As I began the three hour trek down what had been six hours up (it is a different trail), I struggled with the tripping. The fear of falling stressed me to the limit of my fraying hold on my emotions. Other people ran, marched, sped walk, but I was so anxious I had to go slowly.
I began to become upset with myself because Emily and Jenny seemed to be having no problems and kept having to stop for me. They were ridiculously patient with me, but I grew angrier and angrier at the inability of my body and mind to keep up. In the end, I lost it.
We came to another bend, the trail down zigzagged back and forth down the mountain, and as I saw yet another treacherous dip down the mountain I let out a strangled growl. I ended up yelling at the path before me.
“When will it end! Does it go on this way forever?!”
I began marching down the way too but was so out of breath and sorts by two or three zags, I had to slow down again for the zig. At this point of course, I felt ashamed for losing my cool when Emily and Jenny were being so nice. I kept thinking how I must have ruined so much of this trip for them. I berated myself over and over again and apologized grumpily the moment I saw them. What had I thought going down a mountain would be like?!
They did not seem to bare any hard feelings and I hope that’s true. I would not have made it up if it was not for them. I am so grateful.
We made it down the mountain to the fifth station in a little over two hours.
I was too exhausted at that point to be proud, but the feeling has slowly settled into my mind and bones since then.
I will never climb Mount Fuji again and I can say with complete confidence that if I had known how difficult it would be for me I would not have done it.
I am rarely glad to be ignorant, but in this case I welcome it. Because, while I will be the first to admit my limitations, I didn’t know I could so doggedly overcome them. I had no idea that I could keep crawling through tears onto the cloud-ringed tip of a mountaintop. I had no idea my legs would carry me one step after the other while the muscles literally twitched with visible exhaustion.
I didn’t know myself in this way and now I do.
I am so proud of my body and what it accomplished even when my emotions failed and my mind gave up.
So proud. And that, in and of itself, was worth every moment of pain up and down that mountain because I have never been proud of my body.
Now, I have proof of my pride and a reminder of what MY body can do regardless of how I have and will feel about it again.
Revelation comes in some of the strangest ways.
Thanks to everyone who sent me a message on FB to tell me I could do it, you were proud, or to say I was amazing. I am so blessed to have so many people in my corner. I hope this little story gives you some scope for how much you helped me. How grateful I was for your words as they ran through my head after I prayed for strength to make it the rest of the way.
Couldn’t have done it without you.
Great story, my dear! Thank you for sharing it with all of us back home.
Of course!! I’m really glad you all read!!
It’s amazing now when you stand back and review this trip that you did! Your mother stands amazed and so VERY proud!
Thanks mom. I wasn’t sure I would finish but I’m really proud of me too. That’s nice to be able to say.