On April 28th, 2017, my partner, Steven and I decided we were going to climb the iconic Gros Piton. We did a bit of research and went for it, and without a doubt, this breathtaking mountain was unlike any other experience.
What’s more important, I also learnt a few life lessons, not only about life but about myself and love. Here’s what Gros Piton taught me:
“The journey is the destination.” – Dan Eldon
When we started our journey, we took pictures of any and everything – every branch and every leaf was a great photography subject! But, as the journey got harder and the top of the mountain seemed further and further away (like how was that even possible), we stopped focusing on the little things that made the journey enjoyable and only focused on reaching the destination. In like fashion, the laughter stopped, and the journey got even longer because every second was spent focusing on “are we there yet?”
We came to the quick realisation that our destination was not at the summit of Gros Piton, our destination was climbing Gros Piton. Reaching the top was definitely the icing on the top of the cake, but being able to climb a ‘Unesco World Heritage Site’, going past what we thought were our limits and laughing most of the way, was what made the journey.
When we look back at this adventure, we’ll remember how I was on the verge of tears, how at one point I was pouting and Steven couldn’t even take a nice picture of me because I was so tired and how Steven was so full of sweat that his shirt was better served on his head than on his body!
Lesson: Life’s truly a journey, not a destination, so be sure to enjoy the ride (whether bumpy or not) it takes to get there.
“Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life – and maybe even please a few strangers.” – A.L. Kennedy
Nature has a way of keeping us humble. Point blank!
When we got to Gros Piton, we were pretty confident in our physical abilities to climb the entire mountain. But, by about 3/4 way up we were definitely shown the true nature of this mountain – well played Gros Piton, well played.
Gros Piton kept us humble by reminding us of our limits and graciously allowed us to continue to push past them.
Lesson: Remember, respect nature and it will respect you!
“Life has a positive and negative side. Happy people ignore the negative side.” – Bangambiki Habyarimana
Steven and I did a good job of remaining positive for most of the climb and believe me, a positive attitude is important. When we were 3/4 up I looked at Steven and he simply replied, “well we’re almost there now!” and when Steven looked at me I’ll reply “only 15 more mins”.
You see, whenever we asked our tour guide how much longer to a particular checkpoint, she’ll say 15 mins! An hour was 15 minutes, 30 minutes was 15 minutes, and 15 minutes was 10 minutes! Nonetheless, we didn’t know how much longer we had to go but we were closer to the top than we were to the bottom. And, if it weren’t for us topping up each other with positivity when we needed it the most, we would have turned back and our journey would have been incomplete.
Lesson: Your attitude is everything and positive attitudes really do matter – a lot.
“Nothing worth having comes easy.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
Gros Piton also taught me that I must always be willing to step outside of my little box because without challenges, one never grows and growth is what keeps life interesting.
Lesson: Always keep pushing yourself because life would be quite boring without a few challenges.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
Because quite frankly there is nothing quite like having someone (who isn’t your mother of course) believe in you 110%!
That kind of love gives you the strength while motivating you to push beyond what you thought your limits were because not only is that person going to be by your side every single step of the way, but they will also be there to pick you up when you are literally down! Likewise, loving someone so deeply inspires you to be the best version of yourself!
Lesson: Love is a powerful thing and can truly move mountains – sappy I know!
“Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Many times during this climb, my partner put not only his happiness but his needs after mine. And no matter if I was pouting or two minutes away from giving up, he also put a smile on my face. He knew how important it was for me finish what I had started and made the journey that much more enjoyable.
Lesson: Love is patient and it is kind.
“Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Franklin P. Jones
Because there is no other person in the world, that I would climb that mountain with, other than my partner.
Lesson: Love is fun so don’t forget to enjoy every single minute of it!