On other ways to enjoy..

We were back in the hotel room, collapsing on the plush beds after the much needed clean shower. My body was aching severely in several places, but the sheer excitement of accomplishment from a couple of hours ago was still sinking in and refused to let me call it a day. One of my friends had already dozed off into deep slumber while my other friend and I were reflecting on the events of the day. There were several close calls (in my office we call them near-misses) and we shuddered to think of what would have happened to us had any of them occurred. Dehydration, sun-stroke, thunderstorm, pitch black darkness, muscle soreness, injuries, lack of food supplies, no means of communication, lack of proper equipment or experience, lack of sensible maps or the ability to estimate distance while gaining elevation. I guess the only unanimous feeling we had as we realized that  finally after 1.5 days we climbed onto some plain even land, as electric light from the street lamps hit our strained eyes welcoming us back into the modern civilized world was,  “ Thank God! We made it back alive! We did it! We hiked the Grand Canyon to the river and back! ”

We were now in the comfort and security of the hotel room knowing that we were no longer at the mercy of the natural elements outside. We both agreed that what we just did was probably the craziest thing we have ever done or would ever do (well, at least in my case, I don’t know yet  :P). He contemplatively remarked, “There are other ways to enjoy without going to the extreme”, and I retorted “I didn’t do this to enjoy!”. It was hard to explain. I knew even before I began the trip that this would be painful, would be taxing and risky (but it was even more so than I thought it would be). This trip meant something very different to me, something which is hard to explain even now. They say people who go on such trips alone are in search of something, seeking some answers, trying to connect something, trying to achieve something. The strange thing is, I knew I wanted to do this trip, even if it meant alone, but I don’t yet know clearly why. I love nature, but it wasn’t just that, I want to test my limits from time to time and break my self-boundaries, but it also isn’t just that, I really longed to see my friends, but it also wasn’t just that, I just still don’t know why. There are things that connect with our inner selves and perfectly make sense, but then it is hard to assign a logic or reason to them. Either way, this night I realized that what we did was definitely not trivial. It would perhaps take me ages to fathom the courage to do anything like this again. I gave my friend that; sure I will welcome the “other ways” to enjoy for a long while now. 🙂

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