Climbing a mountain. Literally, not figuratively.

A while back when I was in Hawaii visiting my sister, she decided to take me to explore all the ups and downs of the Hawaiian terrain. Which apparently involved climbing down mountain sides on lava rocks.

Off one of the trails outside of Waikiki, there’s a well worn path that takes you past a chain fence warning visitors they are no longer on the path. In Hawaii, signs of warning and/or trespassing are like speed limits: ignored by 99% of the population.

Climbing a mountain

So I followed my sister over the cliff.

Seriously, it was a cliff, that had enough texture in the lava rock to slowly climb down towards the ocean. And climb we did.

Step by step, I hopped and skidded and eased myself from one section of the path to the next. It was a bumpy, uneasy road at first, but as we moved forward I could feel my feet finding their way and eagerly used my hands to help me drop from one rock to the next, being careful not to pitch forward or fall backwards. I eventually found my rhythym and clambored down the mountain while looking straight out to sea. The waves getting closer as the original path fell away.

We chatted for a while but fell silent during the tricky parts, and the silence allowed me to become one with my body. I felt the same confidence in my legs and my arms, my muscles and tendons, heartand lungs, that I used to feel when running. During that climb I knew my body like I did as a gymnast in middle school or during track workouts in high school. I was back in the gym with toned arms and flexible limbs. I knew where my feet were before they landed and could feel every move of my body before it happened. It was the kind of oneness with my body that meditation strives for.

The sun beat down on me as we descended and slowly reached our destination. All of a sudden my desk-work body morphed into what it was once – unbearably young and undeniably athletic. Sure, when we finally got to the tide pools at the bottom of the cliff and stripped to our bikinis I was still the same girl who has to truly sturggle to complete 15 pushups and has spent the last 2 years primarily on my slightly cushy bum from 9-5. But during that climb I was who I once was.

And I loved every minute of it. Which is why I intend to get that girl back no matter how many early morning runs or gym sessions it takes. Because there’s nothing more delightful than doing something truly physically challenging, and succeeding wildly.

Author Profile

Nikki Yeager is an entrepreneur, writer and artist. She has a terrible case of wanderlust and has dedicated her life to exploring as much of the world as possible while still reaching her professional goals. She recently moved back to NYC after stepping down from her role as Director of Sales and Marketing at EHR Tutor.

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