I could write this lesson in a multitude of ways about a bunch of various reasons why I think the people of the world are incredible. Overall they are good and kind and always advancing towards bigger and better things – but this isn’t the angle I’m going to go for today.
I’m going down the road of what people can train their bodies to do. I like to think that I challenge myself when I’m out hiking and climbing. I like to think that I’ve trained my body to get up almost anything at a pretty steady pace and be ready to do it again day in and day out. It’s something I have always loved and it’s something that I always will love, even when miserable and cold and wet and wishing I was by a fireplace and not battling with a relentless gradient.
Now I’m not about to say that you should spend your life comparing yourself to others, because that’s ridiculous and you should only ever strive to be the best version of yourself (#motivation) but whilst climbing up the side of Kinabalu the other day I realised quite how incredible people can be. There I was, two hours ahead of arrival time at camp feeling pretty damn proud of myself and overall not completely exhausted, when I might sit down with a couple from the UK. Two days before my climb was the climbathon on Kinabalu, where the fastest to the summit and back down was 2hours 20. (Took me just over three hours to get to camp – albeit hiking not running) So the winner managed to get up 1000m higher than myself and back down in essentially half the time. The guy who I happened to sit with had also competed a few years ago and done it in about three. It won’t just be me that says that it takes some serious dedication to fitness to manage to climb up and down the highest mountain in South Asia in that amount of time. And it’s not that easy a climb – you’ve got altitude sickness to contend with (my personal experience of this is wobbling seemingly drunk up 1km of track before camp in about an hour – slowest 1km of my life) and the terrain isn’t that straightforward either.
This couple had also hiked all over Nepal with their 18month old baby and had a multitude of other adventurous stories that you just can’t make up. People really are incredible – maybe you shouldn’t spend your life comparing yourself to others but what’s the harm in using that comparison to better yourself along the way. They’ve certainly inspired me to set a few higher goals for myself and my fitness.