Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Stay Active, Stay Happy

Hiking across Haba Mountain was one of the greatest feats of my life thus far. It was a one and a half-day trek with the finest hiking view that China could offer. I knew I would come out alive, but it was the first climb I would do by myself (I'm bad with directions) and the first time I would go through a continuously strenuous activity like that (It was the middle point of a two-week trip I did travelling Yunnan province)

Gentleman I met in the Naxi guesthouse, celebrating our arrival at one of the peaks of the mountain. We helped keep each other going.

The first time I hiked a mountain was in the virgin forests of Sibuyan Island in Romblon, Philippines. It was for an environmental immersion program in my high school. I saw the forest in its raw, natural splendor, and that's what made me fall in love with the nature. After the immersion, all my student government advocacies  became environment-related.

I was 16 then. Prior to the Sibuyan hike, I took regular jazz dance lessons and played some tennis. Prior to the Haba mountain hike, I played regular badminton and went to out of town 1-2 hour hiking trips when I had time. I felt that my body's reaction to the hike when I was 16 and 26 were similar, in that I quickly lost breath and had to take a lot of rests. The resolution to move forward, however, was much stronger in the Haba hike.

The bottom of the Tiger Leaping Gorge. I'm not a hardcore trekker, so the euphoria is new to me. It made me want to do more hikes. 

From the Haba hike last end of September, I was inspired to go back for the 8 day trek that crosses from Qiaotou municipality on the way to Shangrila county - a much more difficult hike encompassing three mountains and a trek to the snow peak, and hopefully, more hikes to come. I am now preparing my body for that - not the triathalon, crossfit type (hats off to those people!), but to become lean enough to carry myself up a gazillion upward bends, lithe and agile enough to spring up from stubborn rocks, and learn how to make do with 4 kg worth of clothes (I carried my weight plus 10 kg... I gave out half my clothes and random trinkets to the sellers along the trail).

Ruth of The Dog Park always finds time to exercise despite her busy entrepreneur schedule. I join her intense work out sessions when I can.

Thus far I dedicate 30 minutes a day just moving, mostly in dance workouts, and I make it a point to run around with our dog (she's a wired fox terrier, so we need to tire out her high energy or else she'll never let us sleep). That's a start, hopefully I can keep it up and do better. 

An impromptu bridge I did a month ago. Been practicing to make it narrower!

2013 is a chance to turn it all around. Stay active, stay happy.

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