My stride is so uphill I can see my knee in front of my nose, sweat is trickling down my face and I’m trying not to think about what would happen if I fell backwards.
The path has disappeared on our jungle trek and we’re making it up as we go along. Kabal is out in front, effortlessly leaping up the ravine. Turning around he sees my dilemma and dashes back, extending his hand to help me take one more step.
‘Maaf Ibu’ he says with a cheeky smile. (saying sorry in a very polite form).
‘That’s ok’ I say. I wasn’t scared, my mind and body were switched on, and I knew all I had to do was yell out for help. I had come to terms with the reality that I was stuck only because my legs are so damn short.
I’ve found myself in this predicament many times on ‘trek research days’ around the world, especially during the ten years of running Sharing Bali Retreats.
The odd sticky moments have tested me, but they’ve been outweighed by the ridiculous amounts of natural beauty wherever I look, splashing through a river like a kid not giving a damn about wet shoes, the laughs and the camaraderie amongst my fellow trekkers. And always the humbling reminder of how lucky I am to be strong and able enough to take on each trek.
If there’s one life lesson that my years of trekking have taught me, it’s that ‘every damn footstep counts’. And where I put my foot is my choice.
Sounds simple, but in our fast paced, over busy world, how many mindless steps do we take each day? Multi-tasking is a way of life, considering each footstep seems ridiculous.
Once I flip into the ‘every damn footstep counts’ mode, the mind chatter shuts down, senses sharpen up, muscles switch on, I allow my comfort zone to be stretched, stressful thoughts disappear and I become completely absorbed in the immediate world around me.
My own personal power kicks in. I feel so fully me.
In my early trekking days, I took thumping, clumsy steps. If there was a slight bump in the path I would trip over it. I would look on with envy as the Sharing Bali staff bounced along, with an agility I could only dream of.
Over the years my footsteps have become lighter. And there lies a bigger lesson in life.
If you’d like a taste of jungle, rice fields and village life in Bali, join one of Kabal’s treks. They range from easy rice field walks to more adventurous jungle treks. Don’t worry, we’ve done the trek research so you don’t get stuck in the jungle without a path. Find out more here.
Or try The French Alps for hiking as fabulous as the food, wine and postcard worthy scenery wherever you look.
Footnote: I don’t want you thinking I’m a modern day Jungle Jane. I’m not a fearless adventurer and certainly no adrenalin junkie. I create hikes for everyone’s enjoyment. You don’t need to be the fittest or fastest. A level of mobility, a love of the outdoors and an open mind is enough. There’s always help along the way. For those with self-doubt…. anything can be done, one step at a time.