Thursday, September 9, 2004

Mountains to climb for everybody

Business Times p.B1
Thrusday, September 09, 2004

By Moje Ramos-Aquino
Mountains to climb for everybody

I ASKED my fellow climbers about their insights into our climb to Peak 2 of Mount Maria Makiling recently and these are the replies from three of those who climbed to the peak.

Amy Agaton of First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FHPC): “When I was at the most difficult trail gasping for breath, felt really tired and aching all over, I asked myself: What am I trying to prove? Several times during the climb, I felt like crying and ready to give up. But a persistent voice inside my mind was prodding me—if they can do it, so can I. I am the type of person who must finish whatever project I started no matter what the cost, regardless of how much effort, time and energy I needed to get the job done. So I told myself that it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t finish this hike. In hindsight, I am happy I joined the climb [that was my first time] and that I climbed to the peak. The experience was priceless and the view was breathtaking! Now I know I have the potential for many other things I’ve never tried before. The important things are to know what I want to achieve, to take the first step to achieve it and persevere to the end. It is also super helpful to climb as a team as it is to do projects. I appreciate all the help and motivation I received from my teammates and the opportunity to also help others.”

FPHC’s Roel Espinoza, carrying a very light and small backpack, breezed through the trail and reached the peak in record time. “I learned not to over prepare. I can do with available resources.” He wore a cotton T-shirt and a pair of porontong shorts tucked tightly to his skin with masking tape. Of course, Roel slathered his exposed skin with generous blobs of Off Lotion as we all did. He took care of preparing and buying all our supplies and safety gadgets. The rule in mountain climbing is that you can bring as much of anything provided you carry them yourself.

Romy Cabral, our friend and volunteer guide from First Philippine Balfour Beatty, has this to share: “There is a mountain to climb for everybody. For neophyte climbers, a match should be found somehow between the trail and one’s capability. Ideally, one should have a balance of euphoria and energy during the climb. One must not overexert and must find a pace that he or she could sustain to the peak through easy and difficult trails. One must not forget to have fun and enjoy the climb and the natural environment.

“If done in groups, the climb opens avenues for developing or strengthening teamwork because there are common activities and challenges facing all team members especially on the difficult terrains and trails. Climbing is also a good training for creativity and innovation. One learns how to traverse a path in many different ways. Climbing is never boring because every rock, earth, leaf, tree root and trunk, stone, limatik and others along the way pose a different situation and call for a different technique. On the other hand, some parts of the trail also requires one to simply recall similar trail and repeat what one had previously done and need not reinvent a new move.

“They say that endurance is not built in a day. To do a successful climb, one must be prepared physically, mentally and psychologically. Every climb is a unique experience. One must stay fit, willing and capable all the time.

Who knows what mountain you’ll climb tomorrow—an actual mountain and/or a mountain of work, business opportunities, leadership challenges or relationships to build. Like the Boy Scouts, let’s always be prepared way ahead of the climb. Then the climb becomes exhilarating and successful.”

Already we are talking about climbing Mount Pulag this October. Join us.

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., strongly recommends mountain climbing for self and team development. She will appreciate your feedback via

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