How the mountains helped me with this pandemic anxiety

How the mountains helped me get through these tough times

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I miss the mountains. And I know I’m not the only one. Throwback photos and hopeful posts about being able to climb or hike once again are all over the internet. We’re in this tough times when all we could do is to dig in for fun memories shared while on trails.

I know it sucks. This inability to move. We have all been made to believe in that adage that ‘if we are meant to stay we’ve grown roots instead of feet’ yet here we are, stuck in our homes, waiting for the better days to come.

But if the mountains have taught us to keep moving, it also taught us to persevere and do all means to survive through unprecedented times. And it these moments when we are susceptible to anxieties, let us all remember how we have been honed by the mountains to be able to get through these tough times.

When it feels like shit, refuse to quit

Remember those times when you are about to quit. When you felt hopeless on trails. When it looks so difficult. When every inch of your body screams of pain. When your mind is on its way of raising the white flag. Yet you persisted. You clung to that “Five minutes nalang” and “Malapit na” – even if you know deep down that these are just false hopes. Then the next thing you know, you’re already there in the summit, plastering that wide grin, admiring the beautiful view set before you, totally forgetting how you almost gave up.

 This too shall pass

They’d say its blind optimism, I’d say its faith. Faith that the storm will pass. Faith that your tent won’t give up on you. Faith that you will still come home in one piece. Faith that the sun will still rise the following day. Everything on the news might be discouraging as of this moment, but believe that we can get through this. Have faith in the universe.

Contentment is the greatest wealth

We’ve always been encourage to become the great person that we are meant to be. But greatness can wait. The mountains have taught us that once in a while, it’s good to pause in our pursuits of greatness and just be happy and contented of what we can do for the moment.

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While on trails, we’ve learned to appreciate the calm, the storm, and everything else in between. We’ve learned an early morning cup of instant coffee at the campsite is much more valuable than the one served in the most expensive café. So learn to be grateful of what you have right now – a secure, loving family, and good health.

Keep your friends closer

If there’s anything that I’ve been so grateful for all the hiking experiences, it’s the amount of friendship I’ve earned overtime. The right kind of friendship that won’t easily give up on you, that will hear your whims, rants, and sentiments. The kind of friendship that won’t always be there physically but will keep in touch despite being miles, borders, and timezones apart.

(To Idas who’ve always been there to hear my outbursts and fears. To rescue me when the crowd felt overwhelming, thank you and Happy Birthday!)

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We all have different ways of coping with adverse situations. But when everything gets frightening and terrible, keep in mind the memories you’ve had with the mountains… maybe this is just the ascent part, the kiss-the-wall, the scorching open trail ‘buko-buko sa anay’, or the technical ninety-degrees. We’ll soon get to the summit. Let’s keep the faith. Laban lang.


Read all the letters I’ve dedicated to my friends: