Japan

Climbing Mt. Fuji And The Journey Within

Climbing Mt. Fuji is the toughest hike I’ve ever done.

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I woke up at 4 a.m. for this special day. That’s only two hours difference compared to when I go to work everyday of the week. It’s a special day. It’s going to be exciting, challenging, rewarding and memorable.

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I packed everything that previous Fuji hikers have recommended.  I was all ears. But nothing could really prepare me for this.

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Climbing Mt. Fuji is rough, so is life at times. And with enough balance, perseverance, stubbornness or determination, and support system, you can get to the top and succeed.

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Though the path or the journey may be bleak, foggy or hopeless, what you need to do is to stay focused on reaching your goals.

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We started our ascend at the fifth station. And it was after only the sixth station that I was already winded. I kept stopping, trying to catch my breath and muster up energy. I just kept thinking that I can do this. I need to set my mind to that.

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Life can throw you so many curve balls, but you shouldn’t be discouraged. It may require some sacrifices. You can take your time. Let your hardships be your challenges. Let your mistakes be your lessons. You can fail, but just do the best that you can and don’t give up.

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Every few minutes, I get tired. I was dragging my feet. I thought of those days when I kept failing and failing and failing to make promotion. I was at the end of my rope. I kept going. I kept trying.

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Be positive, but also be prudent. Strive for what you have to do or what your heart so desires and you will be relieved, even to the thought that you have tried.

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Coming up midway the 8th station to the 9th, me and other two of my coworkers looked like we were not going to make it to the 10th. More of my other coworkers suggested we could end the hike only up to the 9th station. I told them that not finishing the hike is not an option. Beaten I may be, I know I can do it and it was only a matter of time.

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At the end, you can accomplish things you didn’t think you could. Float or soar high. The moment when you took the first step to the time you continue on and persevered, you are already rewarded even if you don’t get to the top.

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After so many failed attempts, I finally made a promotion last June. It took me 7 years to get to this level. I sacrificed a lot, and I paid my dues. Along with the advancement, I was able to renew my employment contract for another 6 years –until I retire *fingers crossed*. I and my brothers at work climbed Mt. Fuji to acknowledge my accomplishments.

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I may take a moment, but I was not going to give up. I was determined to make it to the top. I had my eyes on the price.

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This was everything I worked hard for. It was not for the higher pay, or better authority, or anything else. Getting to the top gave me that sense of relief, that sense of accomplishment, that I can succeed if I just put my mind to it how ever much time it took me to get here or how much I struggled.

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It was getting ready to be dark by the time we climbed down. It was another cycle of struggles. Descending could be just as challenging. I was already completely exhausted. I was out of water halfway through the descend. We hiked down in darkness. All of us were tired. We were all stopping every few minutes. I was glad I was not the only one.

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No matter how you slice it, people need people. I thank all whom I have worked with, all those I met along the way, and those who have helped, aggravated, insulted, inspired and supported me.

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Thanks to you, and best of luck on your journey.

*All images are taken with a cellphone, Samsung S6.

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37 replies »

  1. Nice nuances. I found myself referring to Mt. Fuji at times and sometimes to life in general as I read through your words. Congratulations Rommel and what can I say, it’s the climb!

  2. Oh my my, I’m so so happy for you Rommel !! What an inspiring success story, both of your life and the climb! And nothing better to mark this achievement than with this adventure. Congrats ! πŸ€—

  3. Heavens to Betsy! What a surprise to find you at Gillys πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Congratulations on the promotion and well done on the mega hike. It does not look easy. Such unpleasant terrain and not even much in views to spur you on. But you made it πŸ™‚

  4. What an amazing view to reward you following such a challenging climb! You are certainly to be commended for persevering. And congratulations on your hard-won promotion. You have definitely illustrated the value found in perseverance. It’s lovely to have an update on your life, Rommel.

  5. You did it. Thanks for giving an honest rendition of just how tough the climb was. Great photos. You will have this as a memory for many years to come. Well for the rest of your life actually.

  6. Congrats at making it to the top. πŸ™‚

    Having said that, I’m super jealous. Climbing Mt Fuji has been one of my ultimate things to do since I first visited Japan 8 years ago. Every year, I keep thinking of it and kept postponing it – work issues, timing issues, my own physical capabilities fails me all the time too. But I was seriously thinking of making time to tackle this finally next year and I see this. So now I really want to get there next year. Looks like I’ve got more training to do cos I don’t want to give up either if I do get there. I shall make it!!!

  7. Your triumphant success at Mt. Fuji and at your promotion at work are thoroughly inspiring. This hike looks so grueling. I have hiked lava rock for only short times and it is so rugged, ankle-twisting, sharp, and lifeless. What a monumental accomplishment to reach the top and make it down too. I really enjoyed seeing the photos, and witnessing your tenacity and determination. Congratulations.

  8. Venturesome your mountain journey,truly inspiring and influential your thoughts and your “metaphorical”compelling images!
    Kudos,dear Rommel,eventually,you managed to unlock your true inner power and to be what you were meant to be,in the first place.Oftentimes,we have to push ourselves beyond our limits with predetermination in order to strengthen our willpower and be able to achieve goals.All the best,my friend πŸ™‚

  9. Congratulations Rommel. I am so glad you kept pushing right to the top, despite suggestions of turning around early. There is nothing like that sense of accomplishment that you did not give up, but pushed to the finish. The mental fortitude you displayed would make you an absolutely amazing long distance runner. This is an accomplishment you can be so proud of. πŸ™‚

  10. Your post reminds me of trekking up Dead Woman’s Pass on the Inca Trail…I had to stop almost every 20 metres to catch my breath and rest my legs. It was intense, but I made it…and had such a feeling of accomplishment from it. Congrats on your promotion AND for making it to the top of Mt Fuji!! πŸ™‚

  11. Congrats Rommel on conquering Mt Fuji and getting your contract renewed. I especially liked the double meaning in this post, brilliant. I can sense that you’ve achieved so much from this ‘climb’. πŸ™‚
    – Amor

  12. Great hike and reflection on life (which is the metaphysical aspect of hiking Fuji). I see that I have missed some posts from this summer. Must catch up a bit. Congratulations on your career advancements. More adventures, I hope. – Oscar

  13. This is just an incredible account of how you conquered Mt. Fuji. While it may have been the toughest hike you’ve ever done, I could tell throughout your writing and photography (aren’t cell phones amazing these days!) that it must also have been the most satisfying. There is much to be said in terms of how the struggles of this climb can also parallel the struggles of life ~ always knowing that if you persevere, in the end, you will have achieved something special.

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