Monday, April 28, 2008

The 3rd beckons of KINABALU

In less than a week, I'll be climbing Mount Kinabalu again. YES, again for the 3rd time ! When colleagues and close friends got to know about it, they were sort of “shocked and surprised”.
Some responded directly and others just gave me that kinda look which says : “You tak boring ker pergi ke tempat yang sama ? Asyik Kinabalu jerw … tak der kerw tempat lain ?”

What more when they knew that this will be my third time scaling Mount Kinabalu. To them, it’s just a waste of time and money (as if I'm using their money !) to go to the same place over and over again. To them, they would rather stay at home and watch TV in the comfort of their homes instead. But frankly my dear, I don’t think I owe them any justification or explanation, right ? Whatever it is, me being me, here are some of my reasons …

Firstly, to be able to climb and conquer Mount Kinabalu is like having to sit for and pass my "final examination". My analogy is simple. Imagine you sign up for a particular subject. What’s the use of attending lectures if at the end of the semester you refuse to take any form of assessment or evaluation to see whether you understand the lecture materials or not. Students took their quizzes, tests, mid term exams and finally the final exam so that they can appraise and measure their standard or level of understanding of the subject matter.
Same goes with my mountain trekking and climbing expeditions. My team and I have "signed up" for this "subject" seriously since 4-5 years ago, and some even much longer than that. We have all been “working hard” - training at small hills like Bukit Tabur, and mid-sized mountains like Gunung Nuang, Datok, Irau, Berembun and Brinchang.
These "intro & intermediate level" trekking and climbing activities liken a student sitting for their quizzes and tests, which can be quite challenging at times but normally not very difficult to "pass". In fact, if they're fit & well prepared, they can even "score with flying colors".
And now that all team members overall have already passed and performed reasonably well in those “quizzes and tests”, so I guess it’s just a natural process that we now go for the next most challenging task, i.e. to take the “final examination” at Mount Kinabalu !! At 4095 m ASL, it’s considered as being the tallest mountain in South-East Asia.

But why the “final exams” at Mt Kinabalu for 3 consecutive times ? Why not go climb some other mountains which are in the same category ? Well it’s not that I don’t want to try other “tallest mountains” like Krakatoa, Kilimanjaro or even probably Everest to “test power”, but I guess it all boils down to money matters.

Besides Mt Kinabalu, all the other "tall" mountains above 4000m ASL are outside Malaysia, therefore one needs to have a lot of money, and time too, to be able to climb and conquer such mountains. Training, equipments, food, flights /transportation, accommodations, porter services, passports and visa alone can easily costs you RM3000 - that's the very least.

Mind you that our team are “budget-trekkers” – so we always go for the very basics, nothing luxury ! Therefore Mt Kinabalu for the climax of our “final test of power" is considered very "suitable and affordable” for us. FYI, the whole package of this 1 week Kinabalu expedition cost us slightly below RM 1K. Unless, somebody out there is willing to sponsor us go to Mt Kilimanjaro the next time ? Why not huh ?

Secondly, in return for all the “hard work” of slogging up those mountains, we gonna get fresh air, fresh water (from the natural waterfalls and rivers), beautiful views of the flora and fauna, a sense of camaraderie among trekkers and best of all a great sense of achievement money can't buy.

It is also a good way to be close to nature and appreciate God’s creation. Mountain climbing is an ideal sport for those who simply want to get away from it all and enjoy the cool mountain air while exploring the breathtaking forest trails.

It is a different thing when you're out with friends (especially office mates), surrounded with flora and fauna and fresh water running from a stream, as it is also able to create a special kind of bond among us - a comradeship.

The friends you make during this outdoor activities will be on a very different level from the ones which are acquainted on a normal basis. During these activities, the need to watch out for a partner creates a very special bond between the two of you in the sense that there is awareness for another person's safety and welfare. It consolidates the spirit of esprit-de-corp and togetherness among group members.

Negotiating jungle terrains not only improves physical stamina but also serves to build character as well by making one a more independent and self-searching individual. This comes about when one has to find the solutions to obstacles or endure the exhaustive pace of a long challenging trek.
After having conquered the summit, one will of course feel recharged for strength and force, thus motivating you to face the day-to-day challenges at work and in life. What more when all successful climbers were awarded with a Certificate of Achievements by the Kinabalu Park authority. That alone is enough to motivate you to perform better and better every time.

Last but not least, all of us need to set a target or goal in our life. I've set mine to annually conquer Mt Kinabalu, or any tall mountains in the range of 4000-5000 m ASL. To achieve that goal, one definitely have to work hard and follow a proper training regime to be fit at all times.
Even if for whatever reason, I'm not able to achieve that final goal, but at least with those exercise and training regime I've gone through, I know at the end of the day I'll still be rewarded with a healthy and fit body.

And only with good health, that I can devote and perform my ibadah to Allah SWT in the best complete manner (lebih sempurna), as to get His blessings. And that, my friend, is actually my ultimate goal !

1 comment:

Me... Only Better said...

Wah, great blog la Abang Safian! Well-kept secret!