In it, it talks about the lessons I learned and how mountain climbing can apply to life (thanks to my friend and guide
Rayne Roberts who I still keep in contact with to this day).
CLIMBING SOMEONE ELSE'S MOUNTAIN
by Sue Elaine
Wise men say that life is like climbing a mountain. There are thrills
and spills and if you are lucky enough to reach the top, then you are
I tried climbing a mountain in Korea not too long ago. I read about a
group thru the Seoul Classifieds. It was called Happy Wanderers. I
set a date: March 10. Luckily, one of my closest Korean friends thought
it sounded interested. So, he joined up.
I met the Hikers for the first time and the 7 of us set off at 2pm. It
was going to take at least 3-4 hours to climb a mountain known as
At first, it was not s'o bad. We saw a shrine to the "founder" of
Korea; amd an archery practice field, where we saw a few people
demonstrating their skills. After that, we literally wanted up on the side of the
mountain...that were just rocks. I lost my balance a few times. My
close friend was there to hold my hand and help me up.
One lady from the group told me, "Just take your time. Rest when you
That was what I did. But after I made that first huge climb, my legs
felt rubbery and about to give way.
It really didn't hit me until we walked up some stone, sometimes
unstable, sometimes massively steep steps. How anyone can climb these steps
was beyong me. As I reached the top of those steps and ending that
struggle, I realized that I couldn't breathe very well. I had to hit my
chest twice just to get some breath in. It was like I totally lost my
air. I thought I was gonna die. I almost felt like I was gonna die.
The same lady who told me to take my time advised me not to continue.
I began to struggle with: If I go on, should I die again? What good
would it do me?
This lady left it up for me to decide what I wanted to do, and then I
As I sat with my friend, I as in disbelief wondeing: Why didI do this?
I was so stupid to think that I could do it.
I then said to my close friend who was still with me, "I'm a lot weaker
than I thought."
Once I got my wind back, we walked down a way towards the main street
that we were lucky enough to be sitting close to. It was no easy task
either. All the time, my friend was holding my hand for support,
comfort, and guidance.
Once we reached the subway station, my legs began to feel rubbery.
I said to him, "I feel so stupid!"
He said, "don't think of yourself like that, you did well."
We got in the subway train, then headed to our next destination. Later
on, he sent me a message wondering if he took enough care of me. I
told him, yes you did. What mattered was that he was there with me, and
thru some kind of connection, he became interested in wanting to hike
more and more.
I related this story to my other Korean friends. They understood my
feeling. They gave me credit for waht I did....despite what I went thru.
They said I did a good job, and there I thought I was embarrassed by
this. Of course, as they say, better to have tried and failed than to
have never tried at all.
And about those wise men and the mountains I mentioned at the
The mountains they described were not other people's mountains that
you try to climb but your own personal mountain. I realize now that what
I tried to climb was not my mountain, but the mountain of those who can
climb it and say that they've succeeded. I know that I have climbed
some hills at least. Some of them were steeper than others, but I made
it. As for MY mountain? That will be another story for another day.