What’s easier…going up or down?

In a recent hiking enthusiasts meeting, the oldest and most respected in the sport, got up before initiating and made only one question…What’s more difficult to going down or going up?

The question stunned everyone who gathered there; all presents in one form or another were there for the interest in being part of a group of fans who desire to conquer Pico Duarte, the highest mountain in the Dominican Republic.

Those who have long been in the group laughed, others had only heard the questions of the legendary athlete and could not believe that they were in the presence of something so significant; since it is not customary of this personality to speak.

In turn, for those people who were participating for the first time, their faces said it all, they were lost, not knowing what to do or say.

This legendary athlete is one of the few people that at age 60 have traveled the world, “Conquering” as is known in the jargon of the sport, the great mountains.

The words that broke the silence in that small space where we were; were ones that changed my way of seeing life.

“One who rises…rises because desires to conquer more that just a mountain; decides to confront a new personal challenge-physical, mental or spiritual; wants to face the fears and wants to conquer them;  wants to defy their limits and surpass them; understands that there’s something else beyond what they have lived; born with a sense of adventure and has never disappeared; understands that there is room to grow and to keep learning; has a brave soul and cowardly in words; leaves tracks on the path and fights tirelessly for something they yearn….”

“…Instead the one going down, watches every step to avoid falling; takes the time to enjoy the scenery not viewed on the way up; has no rush, given that has conquered; learned from his setbacks, enjoyed the process on the lowest point, until reaching the peak; observes the marks left by others on the trail; his soul is at the peak of an absolute bliss; appreciates the body, the armor used going into battle; remembers the face of each one who forms a part of his new family; feels how loneliness is an indivisible companion, that served as an allied towards adversity…”

We had never experienced the silence impregnated in that place. Once the experienced hiker finished speaking, he rose slowly from his chair and walked slowly down the center of the room, without looking or saying a word.

The expressions of the deer almost hit by a car, was the norm of the day, given that no one there knew how to respond to what just had happened.

Only one, who spends time conquering, knows that each one of us will be in one of those scenarios very soon and that each is in charge of enjoying once we’re on the peak, as well as when we are on the way down, given that we never know where we will be tomorrow.

Prevent ourselves of being robots, people who let ourselves be carried away by the terms of the collective and live the present –independent of which of the two scenarios, because in either of the two, we will be breathing and we will continue conquering.

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