Almost half a year ago when me and Greg enrolled on a Divemaster course in Tenerife I was more than convinced that I’m not going to be able to finish it, let alone continue and become a Diving Instructor. It was not the best time in my life and I felt that I’m not strong enough to take the challenge. Here I am, a fresh Diving Instructor living in paradise island and working on my MSDT (next level of instructor experience and education) now. How did I do that? One of the factors is, I gave myself no chance to back down. Let me just say that the line from Eminem song “I guess I don’t know my own strength” has a brand new meaning for me now.
With my tiny experience as a diving instructor and my huge experience in talking myself into doing things I am not certain I want to do, I can tell you one thing: what you can or cannot do is in your head!
Seeing a person afraid of taking first hesitant breaths under the water one day, and swimming boldly on 15 meters depth just few days later make me think that there is really more to us than meets the eye.
So it was 24th July, our wedding anniversary (by total coincidence), that we decided to join our friends to climb Mount Agung – still active volcano and the highest point of Bali. When we started from Pura Pasar temple it was rather chilly but humid afternoon. The local, that we met on the way agreed to guide us, but only half way up. Obviously he did not expect us to last that far. First half an hour was ok. After an hour or so we realized that trekking in the tropical island is a little bit different than in the dry climate of our Beskid Mountains. The surrounding started to remind us of the Jurassic Park scenography and the humidity was raising with every few meters up to the point where we could actually see the tiny drops of water suspended in the air.
When we entered into the cloud our clothes became completely wet – from the inside with our sweat and from the outside with the humidity. It was more or less at this point that I started to think, that what we are doing doesn’t make a lot of sense. – Is the sunset seen from the volcano really worth all this effort? I decided not to give this thought a chance to nest inside my mind. So we went on. Getting through a cloud was a real challenge. The air was wet and thick and the path was more and more steep.
Seeing a clear blue sky between the trees was a breakthrough. Finally we found ourselves on the other side. It gave us a push to go further and what we saw after few meters left us totally breathless. Suddenly our legs didn’t hurt that much anymore. I came to realize that I’m not going to give up now, I’m not backing down, no matter how hard it gets.
It got harder..
The path was getting steeper and narrower until it ended and we arrived at the huge stones made of congealed lava. Now our trekking became something between crawling and climbing. Our group stretched over around 100m, but we maintained visual contact and supported each other with “it’s really not far anymore”, although none of us was actually able to see a peak. How did we managed to climb up those rocks and stones is still a mystery for me, yet the bigger one is how we made it back.
When we finally reached our goal, enjoyed the breathtaking views, ate the rest of the supplies and changed to dry clothes, it became obvious that it is getting dark and we need to start our journey back. Whoever thought the most difficult part was over, was painfully proven wrong. Climbing up was a stroll compared to our way down. The pain in my legs and constant fight not to slide down was only part of the challenge. What was a beautiful exotic surrounding during a daytime, became a wild jungle full of strange sounds after the dark. I tried hard not to think about all those spiders and other creepy-crawly creatures lurking on the border of my torch light and just waiting for the right moment to jump on me. My mind maneuvered between the thoughts about the legs pain and the night habitants of the forest, not setting on one subject long enough to let imagination switch on. Sometimes it is best not to think too much and just do what your have to do. Actually after a longer while I didn’t feel the pain anymore, and the march became a kind of a meditation to me. When we finally arrived to the Pura Pasar temple, where we had left our motorbikes few hours earlier, I concluded I would be able to go even further; it didn’t really make a difference anymore.
On our way back home, when we drove our motorbikes hungry, wet and exhausted, I couldn’t stop thinking “we made it, we made it, we made it… if anyone told me today morning what we are going to accomplish I would say they are crazy”.
Back at home when I was laying in my bed, surprisingly I could not fall asleep for a while, I started to think that if you have a really challenging task and you feel you may not be able to accomplish it, THIS is a very good way how to handle it.
The fact that I climbed almost 3000 m of Mt. Agung without previous preparation, the fact that I managed to confront all the doubts and fears to start a new life in a new environment, and even the simple fact that I’m not screaming loudly standing on the chair while the spider is right now promenading slowly through the tiles on my porch – it all starts and ends in my head.
Did you ever feel that people around you are doing amazing things, you can only dream about? It is not because they are so special and you are not. It is only because they decided they will do those things. They convinced themselves they can do them. It doesn’t really matter if it’s about climbing a mountain, diving into the ocean, starting their own business or losing few kilograms. First thing is to believe in the success.
If you really want something, you will find millions of ways how to get it. If you have doubts – you will find millions of obstacles not to do it.
So basically whatever it is that you want to accomplish.. first you need to convince yourself that you can do it. The rest is easier than you think!